The West African region is generally considered a stable continental area with few active tectonic features. However, several earthquakes have struck the area in historic and recent times. The region has records of damaging earthquakes dating as far back as 1615. Major events which had magnitudes between 6 and 7 occurred in 1862, 1906, 1939 and 1983. The seismicity is not well known due to the sparse seismic network coverage, incomplete and inhomogeneous earthquake catalogues and poor knowledge of the ground motion parameters. However, in recent times there have been vast improvement in the deployment of seismic equipment for monitoring earthquake activity. Seismic activities with magnitudes ranging from 1.8 to 5.3 have been observed recently in Ghana, Ivory Coast, Niger, Mali, Sierra Leone among others. These events are mostly associated with the Romanche, Chain, St. Paul transform faults and the Cameroon volcanic line. Seismic data received from the International Data Centre is utilized in compiling an earthquake catalogue for the sub region.
Information on earthquake occurrence in the West African region which has been collated from data from the International Data Centre (IDC) is discussed. This would contribute to the public awareness creation campaign on earthquake disaster risk reduction in the sub region.