Second minor earthquake hits Groningen (update)

The north of Groningen province was hit by a second minor earthquake on Thursday evening, this time measuring 3.4 on the Richter scale.


The tremor, the most severe in the region for six years, was felt from the city of Groningen itself to the port town of Delfzijl. Local media report minor damage, particularly cracks in walls.
On Wednesday night the northern province was rocked by a lighter quake measuring 2.4.
The Groningen quakes are a consequence of years of underground natural gas extraction and Thursday night’s was one of the most serious to hit the province. Groningen contains huge gas reserves.
Compensation
Albert Rodenboog, mayor of the town of Loppersum where the quake centred, told news agency ANP on Friday gas extraction group NAM should be more generous in compensating locals for damage.
People whose property has been affected have to report the matter to NAM which then sends its own inspector to check. Payouts rarely amount to more than a couple of hundred euros, Rodenboog said.
But because there are so many quakes in the area – between 30 and 40 a year – locals are getting tired of going through the process, the mayor told ANP. He says engineers should be asked to examine all the houses for structural cracks to ensure damage is reduced in the future.
The most serious quake in the Netherlands had its epicenter in the Limburg town of Roermond in 1992, where a tremor of 5.8 on the Richter scale was reported.

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