The Government of Liberia urges all citizens to remain calm but alert in the wake of confirmation last Friday, 18 August that an earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale occurred approximately 880 kilometers off the coast of Liberia.
A press release signed by Information Minister, Lenn Eugene Nagbe, says although the incident poses no immediate threat of a tsunami occurring, citizens should remain alert.
The release says the United States Geological Service, which is monitoring the
situation, has provided useful technical information to the Government of
It notes that relevant agencies of government, including the national security apparatus are continuing to monitor the situation and will readily inform the public as new and additional information becomes available.
The alert here followed last Monday’s (14 August) mudslide in Freetown, Sierra Leone following torrential downpour, which left at least 400 dead.
President Ellen Jonhson Sirleaf last week flew to Freetown to console her counterpart Ernest Bai Koroma and the people of the sisterly Republic of Sierra Leone for the lost.
The BBC says President Koroma attended a multi-faith memorial service before a mass burial held in the city of Waterloo on the outskirts of Freetown.
Some 600 people are still thought to be missing while more than 400 people are known to have died.
About 3,000 people are homeless in what is being described as a humanitarian emergency, and there is also growing concern about the risk to public health from water-borne diseases.
Here in Monrovia, Liberia’s former Minister of Lands, Mines and Energy, Dr. Eugene Shannon, urges Liberians to take heed and institute measures to prevent natural disasters.
There are fears that Liberia as a close neighbor of Sierra Lone could face similar natural disaster, because the country contains geological features in several regions including Monrovia, where people have established settlements below sea level, on and beneath hill tops containing loose soils and poor vegetation.
Dr. Shannon warns that these settlements are prone to disasters similar to what occurred in Sierra Leone, and wants inhabitants of such areas evacuated or government should put in place mitigating measures to avoid such calamity occurring here.
He names the planting of vegetation, evacuation from vulnerable areas, discouraging sand mining and the dumping of garbage in drainage and waterways, among others, as measures that can help safeguard the environment against natural disasters such as mudslides and flood.
A professor of Geological and Environmental Science, Dr. Shannon also points to Liberia’s voluminous and torrential rainfall as another factor that could give rise to mudslides, especially in high-risk areas.
In 1982 torrential rain soaked a huge heap of loosed Iron Ore which resulted in a landslide that fell on residents of the mining town of No-Way Camp in Grand Cape Mount County, claiming about 200 lives. Press Release