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Major Earthquake in Groningen Induced by NAM Shell/Exxon JV

NAM is the Shell/Exxon Joint Venture company responsible for the earthquake blighted Groningen Gas Field and consequential potential bill for untold billions to deal with damaged residences.

English translation of an article published 22 May 2019 by De Telegraaf

Major earthquake in Groningen: “Bed quivered, everyone awake”

Updated Yesterday, 9:26 AM
Yesterday, 6:38 AM in the UK

GRONINGEN – The province of Groningen was shocked early on Wednesday morning by an earthquake. This had a power of 3.4, according to the KNMI. According to the meteorological service, the epicentre of the quake was in the village of Westerwijtwerd. That lies as the crow flies about 18 kilometres northeast of the capital Groningen.

The worst earthquake in Groningen so far was in 2012 in Huizinge (in the municipality of Loppersum). It had a power of 3.6. In January an earthquake occurred in the Groningen village of Zeerijp. It also had a power of 3.4. The day after that quake, about a thousand reports of damage arrived. According to the KNMI, this new quake will most likely again cause many damage reports.

On social media many people report that they have felt the quake. The quake occurred around 5.45 am and, according to the KNMI, is in the top three with the most severe quakes in Groningen.

“Felt moving house”

A resident of the city of Groningen says that he was woken up by the quake on Wednesday morning. “I felt the house move. I have not experienced this so often. ”

Our correspondent in Groningen André Spaansen also woke up from the quake. “And I still live on the west side of the city. This is certainly not common. ”

On Twitter, many people also reported having felt the quake. “Sooo, woke up from a major earthquake,” says someone in Groningen. Another reports: “The whole bed was shaking, everyone awake.” “That was a heavy one,” another notes. Another person says: “The whole house is shaking and squatting …” Residents of Winsum, Bedum, Zeerijp and Appingedam, among others, also report on the quake via twitter.

Hundreds of reports of the earthquake have arrived at the editors of RTV Noord. A man from Ten Boer let us know on Radio 2 that he fears damage. “I’m going to do a round of my house to see if anything else has been added.”

Gas extraction

The earthquakes in Groningen are the result of gas extraction in the province. The gravity of the quake at Zeerijp had a major impact on gas extraction in the area. For example, the day after the quake, NAM announced that it would stop or reduce gas extraction in several places. At a later stage, the government finally decided to phase out gas extraction altogether, to zero by 2030.

In Groningen there is a lot of criticism about how to deal with the claim settlement of the earthquake in 2018, something for which the Temporary Committee on Mining Damage Groningen is responsible. Many people are still waiting for compensation, while the quake occurred more than a year ago.

An overview from the KNMI shows that there were already a large number of smaller earthquakes in the province of Groningen in April and May. It concerns fourteen quakes between April 16 and May 20, varying in strength from 0.5 to 1.8.


Prime Minister Mark Rutte calls the earthquake in Groningen early Wednesday morning terrible. He responded in the Good Morning Netherlands WNL program. “I very much hope that the damage will be limited.”

According to Rutte, everyone in the 1950s was still very optimistic about gas extraction, but it has now “turned into a nightmare.”



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