The quake measured 3.4 on the Richter scale and was the biggest in the region since 2012, the KNMI said. The quakes are caused by ground settling following the extraction of natural gas from under the province. More reports are expected in the next few days. All will be assessed by the safe housing centre CVW, which was set up to deal with earthquake damage.
Economic affairs minister Erik Wiebes said that his department was now looking into ways to further reduce gas extraction. ‘What we have to do in any case is have a plan ready to reduce gas extraction further,’ he said.
Last year the government reduced the volume of gas from 27 billion cubic metres to almost 22 cubic metres but locals say much more still needs to be done. They were also quick to describe the latest quake as a wake-up call to national government which had for years ignored the problem. Wiebes is due to visit the province on Wednesday.
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