General News of Tuesday, 15 July 2008
Accra, July 15, GNA - A Member of Parliament (MP) on Tuesday called for a speedy replacement of seismic equipment to ensure that the country developed an effective earthquake emergency preparedness strategy.
"The national seismic observatory is faulty and failing. It is a sick watchman of Accra, watching nothing, save throwing our earthquake early warning system in great doubt," Mr Joseph Boahen Aidoo, MP for Amenfi East said.
"There is complete lack of preparedness and response programme for residents of Accra as a mitigating measure against loss of life and property in the event of a major earthquake," the member said in a statement read on the floor of Parliament.
He said whereas earthquakes could not be prevented, its prediction could be made where seismic equipment was in place and working. Mr Aidoo said the country's seismograph and allied transmitters could not be relied upon any longer and must be replaced with a digital system.
"Mr Speaker, about a month ago, exactly on June 9, 2008, there was an earthquake in Accra. In the ensuing days, there have been reports about similar occurrences."
He called for the establishment of adequate programmes at schools, homes, and offices, among others, to deal with any eventuality. He said appropriate building codes should be developed to meet current seismic safety standards.
He said there should be information on what people should do, including the awakening of the spirit of voluntarism in the event of an earthquake, to minimize loss and damage.