Shell’s host communities in Bayelsa, Rivers report Earth tremour, seek investigation

Shell Oil

Some Communities in Rivers and Bayelsa states, within oilfields operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), have reported witnessing vibrations, described as earth tremor and urged the government to probe the cause.

In some of the affected areas visited such as Igbogene and Akenfa in Bayelsa as well as Akinima, Akie-Oniso(Oruama), One Man Country and Mbiama in Rivers, residents said they were yet to come to terms with the incident and were still in fear.

According to them, they noticed heavy vibrations that lasted for several minutes during the incident which occurred on Sunday night.

Chief Etekpe , a house owner and retired School Principal in Igbogene , Bayelsa on Friday said it was a frightening experience.

“We were about to go to bed when I heard a heavy vibration. I thought it was something else so I quickly went into spiritual prayers’, the 60-year-old stated.

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Victor Idieto, who also resides in the area, said, “In fact, there was a kind of quake, very serious quake that lasted for over minutes.

“At first I thought it was armed robbers that were removing my roof, so I started shouting, only to realise that others had similar experience.”

At Akie-Oniso in Oruama in Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers, a resident, Paul Kio said the tremor caused a crack in his building.

“This vibration was something unpredictable, look at the cracks on my wall,’ Mr. Kio said.

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Also Paul Harrison, who also resides in the area, said it was the fourth time the incident had taken place, vowing to take his family away from the community if another occurs.

At Akinima, headquarters of the Local Government Area, a housewife, Animason Emeka Mark, pointed out that it was a traumatic experience she had on Sunday night.

“Everywhere was shaking. It was something else. I thought the world had come to an end,” she recalled.

Officials of the environmental Non Governmental Organisation,(NGO), Friends of the Earth in Bayelsa, who went on an assessment tour of the affected areas said the incident had occurred previously.

Alagoa Morris, Head of Field Operations at the NGO said the last occurrence took place two years ago in Freetown, Ikarama 1 & 2 in Okordia clan in Yenagoa Local Government Area in Bayelsa.

Although what triggered the tremor has yet to be established, some indigenes and environmentalists linked it to intense seismic and oil exploration activities undertaken by SPDC in the area over the years.

Residents called on government and relevant agencies to look into the incident with a view to ascertaining the real cause and prevent future occurrences to avert any disaster.

Joseph Obari, an SPDC spokesman, when contacted to react on the development said that he was on vacation and hence could not respond.

Also Precious Okolobo, Media Relations Manager at SPDC, declined comments on the development.

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