Groningen village hit by earthquake, mining officials want to know why

Earthquakes in the north have damaged houses. Photo:

The village of Garrelsweer in north eastern Groningen was hit by an earthquake measuring 3.2 on the Richter scale on Monday night, one of the most severe quakes to be felt in the region since May 2019.

Hundreds of people reported having felt the quake, but as yet it is unclear if there was any damage. ‘It was long and severe,’ one Garrelsweer resident told local broadcaster RTV Noord.

There have been a relatively large number of quakes in the area since the beginning of October and mining inspectors have asked gas production company NAM to explain why established limits for the occurrence of earthquakes in the area are being broken.

The production of Groningen gas is currently being wound down because of the problems and from 2023 the reserves will only be accessed in cases of emergency.

More than 1,000 quakes of up to 3.6 on the Richter scale have hit the province since 1986.

So far, 126,356 reports of damage caused by the quakes have been made to an official government institute set up to process claims. Up to now, €1.15bn has been allocated to home owners and others to pay for damage.

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