A 3.4 magnitude earthquake, one of the strongest ever registered in the province, struck near the town of Westerwijtwerd in Groningen around 5:45 on Wednesday morning.
Translation by Traci White
Dagblad van het Noorden reports that people reported feeling the quake in the city of Groningen and in towns across the province, including Winsum and Appingedam. A number of social media posts from Drenthe also reported feeling something around the time of the quake.
The Dutch meteorological institute KNMI told Radio 1 that a quake of this magnitude, which initial measurements registered as being as strong as the quake that struck in Zeerijp in 2018, is likely to have caused some damage. The Groningen Safety Region services tweeted that no emergency services had been dispatched as of Wednesday morning.
Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte told Dutch morning news show Goedemorgen Nederland that he hoped that the damage due to the quake would be limited and described how the gas extraction operations, which have been active in Groningen since the 1950s, have “become a nightmare”.
RTV Noord reports that a debate about gas extraction in the region was already scheduled to take place with economic minister Eric Wiebes in the Dutch parliament on Wednesday afternoon. The Tijdelijke Comissie Mijnbouwschade Groningen (TCMG), an agency where impacted citizens can file damage claims, will be bringing in extra staff on Wednesday to handle the expected increase in activity.
How long have earthquakes been happening in Groningen? How does natural gas extraction cause the quakes? Read our story about the history of the natural gas industry in Groningen and learn more about the impact of the induced quakes on the north.
Photo source: KNMI