An earthquake measuring 2.8 on the Richter scale was felt in Groningen province on Tuesday – considered a significant quake in the Netherlands.
Social media channels were buzzing with news from people who felt the quake, some of whom were in Groningen city itself. ‘I have never felt such a strong one,’ local councillor Paul de Rook said on Twitter. There have not yet been any reports of damage, news agency ANP said.
The quakes are caused by the ground settling following the extraction of natural gas from under the province. Gas extraction company NAM has not yet commented on the strength of Tuesday’s quake but the tremors are thought to have been strongest in the villages of Ten Boer and Bedum.
NAM, a 50:50 joint venture between Shell and ExxonMobil, is currently assessing claims from hundreds of people who say their homes have been damaged by the quakes.
The government has sharply reduced gas extraction volumes in the worst affected areas. Earlier this year, economic affairs minister Henk Kamp set aside €1.2bn to compensate people whose homes have been hit by earthquakes.
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