On September 11, 2016 residents of Kwoi, headquarters of Jaba Local Government Area of Kaduna State were thrown into pandemonium when deafening sounds rent the airspace, causing serious vibrations of the earth. The incident, which was the first of its kind,sent fears down the spines of the people, who thought it was bigger than a tremor.
Though, damages done are mild but the people interpreted the repeated vibrations and loud sounds to a foreboding of a possible earthquake.
A Kaduna-based International Radio reporter, Suleiman Yakubu who just travelled to Kwoi on ‘Sallah’ break, told the Nation that, the incident has forced people out of their homes.
He said: “Though people have not started fleeing the community, but as I talk to you, there is tension. Everyone is standing outside as the earth is vibrating under their feet. It started since morning and if it continues like this till evening. People will have no choice than to leave the town to safer places.”
Yakubu spoke before the people actually started fleeing. Another eyewitness, Hon Badugu Nehemiah, said:
“Since morning, many people in our villages have been running up and down, because both buildings and the ground have been shaking. Many churches had to cut short their Sunday service programmes because of the earthquake threat. As I am speaking with you, the ground is still shaking,” he said.
Meanwhile, as at Thursday morning, non-native residents of Kwoi had fled the communities after evacuating their property. The desperation of the non-natives to flee the town was heightened by a much smaller tremor, which was experienced in Kwoi town on Wednesday, two days after the last one, which was thought to be the last.
Sources in Kwoi said Igbo, Hausa and other non-native tribes’ shops were locked up after they had moved out with their ware and personal belongings.
It was also gathered that even those who were into other forms of employment both in the private and public sectors have fled the town.
According to a source, Jonathan Sati, a native of Jaba ,
“There was a small tremor on Tuesday night and another on Wednesday afternoon. The Igbo traders and other people that are not from here made up their minds to finally leave. The majority had moved out between Sunday afternoon and today (Thursday).
“On Monday, there were 26 vibrations. Those that stayed back were not sure. But now, they are leaving. I can’t remember any of them that I know who is still around. Unless non-Ham (Kwoi dialect) women who are married here.
“As for us the natives, we can’t really think of where to go now because this is our ancestral land. But, that does not mean that we are not scared. We are all living in fear, especially that the incidents are happening repeatedly,” he said. The tremor had cracked several houses and caused partial demolition of others.
One of the victims whose houses were affected, Major General Yusuf Pyeng (rtd) said:
“We are living in constant fear not knowing what will happen next. The tremor is so terrifying and we are desperate to know what is the cause and the future reaction. We are waiting for the geologists’ final report to know if we are staying or vacating the community. My house is well solidified, but because of the tremor there are cracks,” he said.
Another resident, Emmanuel Musa, told The Nation that,
“we no longer sleep with our two eyes closed. We had thought that the incident will occur and just go away like that. But now, it is making us scared.
“Everyday since after the first incident, people have been leaving the town, but some of us were laughing at them then, but now, we are also scared, especially that the incident has been happening repeatedly.
“If one is inside the house and the tremor starts, you just have to come out, because the house will be shaking as if it is going to fall on you.