Builders of skyscrapers in Buea warned against eruption impact

The rate at which sky rise structures are growing in Buea and its environs has necessitated a workshop on ‘Building Local Capacities towards Disaster Risk Reduction and Reducing the Impact of Natural Hazards and Disasters Posed by Eruptions of Mount Cameroon on the Population’ in Buea.

The workshop organized by the Faculty of Science of the University of Buea, UB on Tuesday December 12, was in perspective of a possible eruption of Mount Cameroon if its frequency of 15-16 years is respected.

“The focus of this workshop is due to the number of high rise structures we have today, because in 1999, when we had those earthquakes, we did not have the number of high rise that we have today and we don’t know the building rules which are being used to build these structures today. We have very tall buildings in countries like Japan with very high earthquakes intensity and magnitude but the buildings can withstand.  But are we building buildings that can withstand our own earthquakes? We don’t know and University of Buea is very concerned,” the chief organizer and Dean of the Faculty of Science, Prof. Ayonghe Samuel Ndonwi bothered.

According to him, there are different types of erupting mountains around the world and Mt. Cameroon has specific characteristics like all the other mountains. He said the risk that comes from the eruption of Mt. Cameroon as observed in previous eruptions includes tremor and earthquakes which precedes the eruption as well as the viscous lava which is not very fluid, flows slowly and is not very dangerous.

He said if the frequency of eruption of 15-16 years is respected, the mountain should be erupting soon but, assured that there should be no fear because they (scientists) will be able to handle it. He said the station at Ekona mounted by the Ministry of Scientific Research is monitoring the mountain and so, there should be no fears.

To the Vice-Chancellor of UB, Prof. Horace Ngomo Manga, engaging UB with the wider community of Buea Municipality on how to reduce the impacts of natural hazards and disasters that occur from eruption of Mount Cameroon is very important. He appreciated Partners Enhancing Resilience for People Exposed to Risk – Universities, Periperi U Grant and the United States Agency for International Development, USAID, for making the workshop a reality.

By Nester Asonganyi

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