The National Security has launched full scale investigations into the rumour of an earthquake that sent millions of Ghanaians onto the streets in the early hours of Monday.
According to the National Security Coordinator, Col. Larry Gbevlo Lartey (Rtd), his outfit was deeply concerned over the rumour, stressing that his office was leaving no stone unturned to unravel the circumstances that led to mysterious text messages about the earthquake.
Speaking in an interview with The Chronicle, the National Security boss stated: “Certainly, we are interested in investigating the matter to know those who gave such false information into the public domain. We are deeply concerned over the wild allegations. Indeed, whatever affects the security of Ghanaians is of paramount interest to us,” he said.
Col. Gbevlo-Lartey (Rtd) revealed that his outfit was also questioning mobile phone providers, and prevailing upon them to collaborate with his office to unravel the circumstances that led to the text messages.
It would be recalled that the earthquake scare, which hit the nation as early as 2:00 a.m. on Monday, caused millions of Ghanaians to rush out of their rooms, after text messages and calls from relatives warned them of an impending earthquake. The panic stricken public kept to their radio sets and mobile phones for official pronouncements.
The prank, which is said to have originated from an unidentified source, gained a lot of currency following the recent Haiti massive earthquake, and its impact seen on television screens. As Ghanaians await the investigations from National Security, a deputy Minister of Information, Mr. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, dispelled the rumours, and allayed the fears of Ghanaians.
“Government wants to assure the nation that it is just a rumour, that there is going to be an earthquake. “There is no iota of scientific evidence in that; somebody has just pulled a prank on the nation,” he said, adding: “It’s nothing, but a wild rumour orchestrated and aimed at causing commotion and panic. It is not true, we have checked from all the official agencies,” he told an Accra-based private radio station.
According to Mr. Ablakwa, the government had been in contact with NASA, a US space agency and the BBC – the two bodies allegedly credited with the report, but they both denied it outright. The Deputy Minister hinted that National Security had launched full scale investigations into the issue to locate the source of the hoax.
Meanwhile, Dr Emmanuel Amamoo-Otchere, former Executive Director of the Centre for Remote Sensing and Geographical Information Services (CERGIS) at the University of Ghana, Legon, has also called on the public to remain calm, since nobody can predict when an earthquake with a heavy impact would occur.
Source: The Chronicle
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