Residents of some oil-producing communities in Ahoada West Local Government Area (LGA) of Rivers State have raised the alarm over repeated earth tremors, which they descibed as a warning that an earthquake was imminent.
The people of Edegbari and Joinkrama communities said that the last earth tremor they experienced happened in late June, and it sank some houses, and cracked their buildings’ walls, forcing them to run to the authorities for help just like they did in 2011 when it first happened.
The Traditional Ruler of Edagberi community, HRH Jacob Sunny Ubele, who spoke to reporters at the weekend, said the trem-or had occurred severally. He said: “We are afraid that there may be earthquake in this community anytime soon.
“It was a very terrible experienced that night of June 26. The sound of the tremor was unprecedented. All the buildings were shaking that midnight and people ran out of their houses thinking that the end of the world had finally come.
“In this Edagberi community alone, we have 46 oil wells and 22,000 barrels of crude oil is produced here every day. That is big money for the Nigerian government.
Why can’t they come and help us from this imminent disaster?” Ubele lamented that the entire community had been abandoned despite its vast contributions to the national economy.
Another Chief from Joinkarama, Chief Ominigiri Sam, explained that the situation seemed like a confirmation of the “end of the world we have been told. We are still living in fear. Nobody knows what happens next. That is why both government and the oil companies must come and help us urgently.”
The Caretaker Committee Chairman of the LGA, Hon Jerry Gabriel, who confirmed the incident, blamed oil companies that have been doing oil business in the area for more than 50 years and have not done enough to help the people. He said the oil companies should “as a matter of urgency deploy experts to the area to deal with the issue of the consistent earth tremor in Ahoada West.