Ghana completes GH¢13.8m digital seismic facility to monitor earthquakes

DesertificationGhana’s new digital seismic network for monitoring earthquakes and other related activities has been completed and commissioned.

The GH¢13.8 million network located at the Central Observatory in Accra was fully funded by the Ghana government. The facility was commissioned by Ghana’s Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon Mike Hammah.

The state’s Information Service Department (ISD) reports December 27, 2012 that the facility comprises six new and modern seismic sub-stations located at Morontuo, Kukurantumi, Shai Hills, Akosombo, Ho and Weija as well as three dam monitoring sites at Akosombo, Akuse and Weija which will generate and transmit in real time seismic data into the Central Observatory.

The new facility replaces the outmoded analogue system procured and upgraded in 1973 and 1987 respectively. It will assist the Geological Survey Department (GSD) to effectively monitor earthquake occurrences and obtain seismic data in the southern sector of the country, the ISD reported.

The system is expected to generate data for an efficient and effective land use planning, revision of building codes and policy formulation and the designating standards for critical structures such as bridges, dams, overhead transportation systems, nuclear power plants.

The facility is also expected to enhance the development of disaster mitigation strategies to reduce the effect of future earthquakes, planning post-earthquakes reconstruction programmes as well as facilitate the development of well defined insurance policies for protection against earthquakes.

Ghana has experienced 19 major earthquakes between 1636 and 2012, according to available records.

By Ekow Quandzie

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