€80m paid out so far to compensate for Groningen quake damage

A café in the Groningen village of Zeerijp damaged by earthquakes. Photo: Graham Dockery
A condemned and shored-up cafe in Zeerijp. Photo: Graham Dockery

Some €80m has so far been paid out to people in Groningen whose property has been affected by earthquakes, the government agency set up to deal with compensation said on Tuesday.

Much of the cash – €34.5m – has been handed over to people who have decided to make a claim for a fixed amount of compensation, without having to wait for their particular problems to be assessed.

Some 16,000 households are eligible for help through the fixed compensation scheme and 7,000 have so far applied, the agency said.

Almost €41m has gone to households whose problems have been assessed by inspectors and nearly €5m has been spent on interest, expenses and other matters.

The agency was set up in early July by economic affairs minister Erik Wiebes in an effort to tackle the backlog of claims.

Some 17,000 cases still have to be dealt with and new claims are arriving all the time, the agency said.

The damage is caused by the land settling after gas has been removed from massive fields under the province.The government is currently reducing the amount of gas which can be extracted because of the problems.

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