Saturday 22 January 2022

Fewer earthquakes in Groningen after gas extraction is cut

A condemned and shored-up cafe. Photo: Graham Dockery

A condemned and shored-up cafe. Photo: Graham Dockery

There have been fewer earthquakes in Groningen province over the past six months and those that have occurred have been less powerful than in previous years, according to local broadcaster RTV Noord.

In the first six months of last year there were 12 quakes measuring 1.5 or more on the Richter scale but this year there have been just six, the broadcaster says, quoting figures from the KNMI weather bureau.

The economic affairs ministry reduced gas extraction volumes sharply at the beginning of this year because of the earthquake problem. Tens of thousands of buildings in the province have to be shored up because of damage caused when the land settles after the gas has been taken out.

There has also been a shift away from Loppersum, which had been the epicentre, towards Slochteren and Hoogezand-Sappemeer. All gas extraction at Loppersum has been halted because of quake problem

Later on Friday, the cabinet is due to announce how much gas can be extracted in the province from October. Locals have been pressing for further cuts.

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