Friday, November 12, 2010

Volcanic Eruption Benue State Nigeria

Official Volcanic activity reporting sites and world media ignore the volcanic eruptions at Abelakpam Mountain in Mkomon District of Kwande, Nigeria.

The Nigerian Government are ignoring the eruption that took place around November 4 in Benue State .. official global volcanism programs are not reporting the recent seismic and volcanic activity in the region of the Biu Volcano, Nigeria. I find this hard to believe .. because, if a volcano erupted on Mars it would be headline news around the world .. Newsweek, Discovery TV, National Geographic, CNN ..

In the rush to ignore this event everyone is missing the most significant fact, and that is the TIMING of the eruption in the middle of nowhere, in the mountains of Nigeria. This eruption happened at a time when Indonesia was exploding, Iceland was rumbling as Grimsvötn began melting tons of ice after the Mentawai tsunami and as Mt. Bulusan in the Philippines began to spew steam and ash. Therefore, it is tectonically relevant that tremors and an eruption also followed in Benue State.

MakurdiThe Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP), Benue State chapter, has condemned the lukewarm attitude of the Benue State government to the volcanic eruptions at Abelakpam Mountain in Mkomon District of Kwande Local Government Area, saying it shows lack of value for human lives.

Last week's volcanic eruption in the Mkomoh District of Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State, which claimed one life, has, indeed, sent warning signs to the government and people of the state, as there are still areas in the state prone to future volcanic disturbances.

Kwande Volcanic Eruption: 11 November, 2010 - Residents of Makurdi are now living in fear following reports of uncommon happenings at the mountainous Mkomon community in Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State where a volcanic eruption claimed two lives while property worth millions of Naira have also been destroyed.

The latest incident in Mkomon is the fourth in the series of eruptions in the rather forgotten community some six hours drive from Makurdi most of which is done by motorcycle popularly known as Okada. The first eruption in the community occurred as far back as 26 years ago in 1984 followed by others in 2005 and 2009.

Unfortunately nothing was done by way of an indepth study to pre-empt further occurrence until the latest incident. But unlike the case a few days ago, the earlier eruptions recorded in the mountainous community did little or no damage at all to inhabitants of the area that also borders Cameroun Republic.

The community of predominantly farmers consisting of Ityuluv-Niev, Injor Niev-ya and Iwa Niev-ya natives has been devastated and cut off from the rest of the world, no thanks to a volcanic eruption that was preceded by heavy tremor that saw rocks crashing down from the hill and destroying farmlands and houses in its wake.

Narrating their ordeal to newsmen who thronged the community to see things for themselves, the kindred head of Mkomon, Chief Gabriel Aja, explained that on November 4, 2010, the entire district was terrified by a heavy vibration never experienced before.

Chief Aja who conducted journalists many kilometres around the disaster sites also grieved over the loss of his 30-year-old nephew, Mr. Shaaka Aja, who died in the incident alongside a teenager. He said: "We could do nothing but just leave our fate to God", adding that the magma emitted from the eruption has not only polluted their only source of potable water, the KIPAM Stream, but that crops and houses worth several millions of Naira have also been destroyed.

Chief Aja's tale was also corroborated by a former chairman of Kwande local government, Akombo Ande Akombo, who lamented the neglect of the people by the State government in spite of repeated eruptions in the community.

Meanwhile, a geologist with the University of Agriculture, Mr. Abagyegh Ingyorokogh, has described the emissions at Abelakpa Mountain as a "function of geological forces" within the earth crust where magma substances boil, thereby forcing the earth to crack.

Mr. Ingyorokogh further said the magma could travel a long distance and cause great havoc depending on the space of the crack on the mountain which is occasioned by tensional forces under the earth.

The geologist who suggested that an indepth scientific research be carried out around the mountain to determine the level of volcanic threat to the lives of the people, called on the Federal Government to construct protective demarcation lines around the mountain and also evacuate the people from any looming future occurrence.

Also commenting on the incident, an environmentalist, Mr. Hyacinth Vaatyough, with Environmental Space Agency, Abuja said it was a volcanic slide, warning the people against drinking water, including rain water, likely to have been contaminated by the magma.

Meanwhile, as the community continue to live in fear of the unknown they have also made a passionate appeal to the state and federal governments to come to their rescue since the only available bridge in the community had been cut into pieces and water gushing from the eruption sight has also flooded parts of the community.