General News of Saturday, 26 July 2014


Ghana not recieving disaster alerts due to US$36,000 debt

It appears Ghana would not be able to track looming tremors and earthquakes should any trigger. The Geological Service Department owes its satellite signal prompters based in the United States some US$36,000. The country has, therefore, been cut off any communication if such disasters are imminent.

The concerns have surfaced in the wake of yesterday’s earth tremors in some seismic prone areas in the national capital Accra. Weija and its environs experienced some tremors which frightened residents there.

Speaking to Ultimate Radio, Director of the Geological Service Department Adjei Duodoo said they couldn’t detect it because the station is no longer receiving signals.

“Yesterday we had a tremor, but we couldn’t pick it. We have six remote stations but such information is transmitted through a modern satellite provided by the Hunters Communications of USA. Unfortunately, the subscription fee has not been settled up till now so we have been switched off,” he bemoaned.

“It is about US$36,000 and it is a bulk fund for three years. We are a government subvented organization which prepares its budgets and must receive our monies from the Ministry of Finance.”

Mr. Duodoo was also worried the facility needed some fencing and a gate to secure the place from encroachment and unscrupulous elements which could sneak through the bushes to temper with their machines and even steal them.

He emphasized that the installation was a critical one which needs some amount of isolation from noise and satellite interruptions coming from telecoms and radio frequencies.

Another challenge he stated was to do with the power fluctuations which demand that they power a 250 KVA generator on an extra cost. He outlined that several areas in the country fell on the fault lines where earthquakes could occur.

“We have the coastal bandage fault; we have the Togo – Akuapim fault, and they are intercepting around Weija and McCarthy Hill and we have been recording many Epic Centers around that place. In actual fact, the center of Accra is part. Ridge Hospital, TUC, former Mobil House, former Ambassador Hotel, the Castle, Osu and Makola are all on the fault areas.”

He added that the “Flagstaff house, the CID Headquarters and the Regional Police Premises are earthquake prone areas.” “Tema is also part, Akosombo is part, parts of Akuapim Ridge. Ho and Tito all in the Volta Region are all on the fault region.”

When asked whether the country couldn’t be prompted to take any precautions for any imminent tremors or earthquakes coming in, he stated that the nation can only hope to predict right.

“We can have a tremor of about 3.3 magnitudes. It could increase to 3.5 then to four. Here, we can warn that there could be an imminent one, and we need to get ourselves prepared,” he described.

Ultimate Morning Show Host, Kofi Owusu: “So if we are not able to tell the level of this tremor or any of these things that might happen anytime soon, it means we are living in danger?” Mr. Duodoo, “definitely.”

The deadliest earthquake in Ghana occurred in 1939 specifically In Accra. 17 people died with 133 sustaining injuries. Several buildings were affected with the roofs of the Osu Castle; the then seat of government ripped off.