Tuesday 10 December 2019

Earthquakes hit northern Groningen

Northern parts of Groningen province were hit by two earthquakes on Thursday night, causing minor damage to some properties.

The first quake hit around 23.30 and measured 2.7 on the Richter scale. The second took place some 50 minutes later and measured around 3.2. It was felt in Groningen city itself.

‘Everything began to wobble and shake,’ Dick Stoppels, a resident of the village of Uithuizen, told Nos television. ‘It was as if a train was passing very close to the house,’ said another.

Compensation

The quakes come at a time of mounting unease in the province about the effect of natural gas extraction from massive underground reservoirs.

Last month, a report for the economic affairs ministry warned earthquakes in the province could become more severe than originally thought.

Gas extraction company Nam has set aside €100m to pay for reinforcements to vulnerable buildings, but locals say this is far from enough. They have also so far submitted some 2,700 claims for damage.

Problems caused Thursday night’s quakes were limited to cracks in walls and damage to plaster.

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