Sunday, October 28, 2007

Landslide - Nigeria (Adamawa) OCT

Sixty eight farmers in Sili-Centa village in Guyuk Local Government of Adamawa, have lost farmlands following a landslide, the council’s chairperson, Mrs Wilbina Jackson, said.

Jackson told newsmen in Guyuk, headquarters of the council, that the incident which occurred fortnight ago, claimed farmlands worth millions of naira after a loud explosion.

She said that though no life was lost, the victims lost their only means of livelihood.

According to her, the affected areas were the most agriculturally productive sites within the council.

Jackson called on the Federal Government to send experts to the affected areas to determine the actual phenomenon.

Two farmers, Demas Alinco and Lenus Glastone who lost their farmlands, that they heard a loud sound, accompanied by thick smoke.

They also said that fears of the unknown had forced some elders of the community to seek spiritual solutions.

According to them, some other elders have attributed the disaster to the anger of their ancestors and gods.

Meanwhile, some Christian and Muslim leaders have also offered special prayers in churches and mosques, seeking God’s forgiveness and intervention.

The District Head of Chikila, Mr Ginka Friya, said that the incident started gradually on September 30 and climaxed with the recent incident when the affected areas experienced a downpour.

Friya recalled a similar experience in 1964 but said the recent incident had a greater impact.

He called for the relocation of the victims, and urged the government to erect a building for the victims.

Dr Paul Michaullum, a geographer and one time minister during the Second Republic, who hails from the area, described the incident as a “potential disaster”.

Michaullum said the incident was more of a slide as the area constituted more of “very high mountains and deep valleys”.

The Commissioner for Special Duties, Mr Median Teneke, said that the residents may be relocated to a safer place pending the assessment of the problem by the Federal Government and international experts.

A visit to four sites of the slide in Sili-centa revealed deep cracks, gullies and submerged farmlands while the residents had deserted their farms.

Mr Otiji Phillip, the chief geologists in charge of the Geological Survey Department, Yola, Adamawa, said that the incident was the falling off of truncated rocks along the Atlantic Ocean.

“The incident could only be a landslide or mud fall.

“Guyuk, Demsa, Numan, Lamurde, Girei, Yola South and North, Fofure, and part of Song have huge bolder rocks, mostly sedimentary types and fragile.

“They can easily crumble and fall through a channel created by water erosion.

“Song, Hong, Gombi, Maiha, Toungo, Jada, Mayo-Belwa, Mubi South and North, Michika and Madagali are situated on igneous rock and these are areas you can expect volcanic eruption but they too are dormant.

“Soft rocks have a tendency to slide over one another especially during rainy season, equally swollen clay when it has soaked enough water can trigger off a slide.”

“The incident is sometimes accompanied by loud noise and debris that raise a lot of dust that may be mistaken for smoke,” Phillip explained.

The geologist called on the residents not to entertain fear of any earth tremor or volcanic eruption.

He said that landslides were common in highland areas including Adamawa, Borno, Yobe, Bauchi, Plateau and Taraba States.

He disclosed that panyam area in Plateau was the only currently active volcano site in the country while all other sites that had erupted long ago were now dormant.

Phillip said that a survey conducted by him on Biu mountains in Borno State revealed that most of the rocks have been weathered and their vicious blocked, indicating that there was no imminent eruption.

It would be recalled that there were some reported cases of possible volcanic eruptions in Maiha and Sahuda in parts of Adamawa in 1992 and 1993.

Similar incidents mistaken for either earthquake or volcanic eruption were also reported on Mver and Maisamari hills on the Mambilla Plateau, Sardauna Local Government, Taraba State in 1994 and 2004, respectively. - Source

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