Parts of Groningen province were hit by an earthquake measuring 2.8 on the Richter scale on Monday night.
The epicenter of the quake was in the village of Woudbloem, about 11 kilometres east of Groningen city.
‘It was a strong quake,’ said KNMI seismologist Läslo Evers ‘These sort of strong quakes are becoming more common. There was one earlier this month of 2.9 and one of 3 in the north of the province earlier this year.’
Local broadcaster RTV Noord said people were woken by a loud bang and shaking at around 03.45 hours and that it had received many reports from Hoogezand and the city of Groningen.
The quakes are due to the ground settling following the extraction of large reserves of natural gas. Their increasing frequency and strength threatens to become a major political issue.
Earlier this month the government announced it would further scale back gas production in an effort to reduce the problem. A programme is currently underway to inspect and shore up some 40,000 properties considered to be at risk of quake damage.
There were no quakes recorded in Groningen until 1986, 23 years after gas extraction began. The strongest quake recorded so far registered 3.6 on the Richter scale.
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl.
We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.Make a donation