Making Ghana Earthquake Resilience

Accra, the capital of Ghana is far away from major earthquake zones of the world, but has a history of destructive earthquakes. However, its seismic risk does not attract the requisite attention. Need to set up a national contingency plan and posOrganization with the sole mandate of championing seismic risk reduction is identified as a critical step needed. Without this, and others, Accra would not experience any significant reduction of its seismic risk and the economic and social implications will be unbearable.

 

Our Approach

Preparedness is necessary for any form of sustainable disaster risk reduction.  DRNGhana calls for collaboration with experts and will use it’s platform to attract organizations interested in helping reduce Accra’s and it’s environs seismic risk. Ghana's seismic risk is now placed in a global context, so we have to step up our collective actions necessary to help reduce this risk.

Identify seismic risk zones and develop a National Earthquake Preparedness and Response simulation exercises within communities, Organizations, schools, churches, mosques etc.

 

Where we can outline key measures that must be undertaken by relevant to empower communities to be well prepared and resilient for reduction of seismic risk. This is major action for DRNGhana. Outline other response measures required by stakeholders/agencies in the event of an earthquake, to include the response and recovery phase; and evaluate the capacities of relevant bodies mandated with national response to identify resource gaps and recommend measures to augment their capabilities towards effective response.

Additionally, DRNGhana has determine the kind of international support that may be required to make and build an earthquake resilient Ghana.

 

Highlights

Historically, Accra and the nearby coastal areas have experienced four seriously damaging earthquakes on Richter magnitude of about 6 during the last 400 years. The significant ones were in 1858, 1863, 1883, 1907, 1911, 1918, 1923, 1925, 1930, and 1933-35. The major ones were 1635, 1862, 1906 and 1939. The most destructive earthquake that struck the then Gold Coast, (Ghana) and caused a lot of damage, loss of life and property, was on the 2nd June 1939 3,4 magnitude.

 

In 1939, seventeen people were killed and one hundred and thirty three injured. Its magnitude was 6.5 on the Richter scale. In more recent times, earthquakes and strong tremors some with magnitude of 4.9 on the Richter scale have been experienced in 1964, 1969, 1979, 1985, 1995, and 1997.

 

However, Ghana’s exposure to earthquake is modest considering that the peak ground acceleration is only likely to be exceeded with a 10% chance in 50 year time in terms of seismic activity on the probabilistic seismic hazard map of Africa. Despite the apparent assurance, it is generally believed among the residents that the country is long overdue for a big earthquake. This is the snapshot of earthquakes in Ghana.