Earthquakes force Groningen dike repairs

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The Groningen dikes will be reinforced at an accelerated pace, due to earthquakes, to guarantee the safety of Groningen residents, announced the Noorderzijlvest water board. A recent study by Deltares, an independent research institute, revealed that a total of 100 km of dikes pose a risk during heavy earthquakes.

The 40 km of sea dikes and 60 km of inland dikes may not immediately break, but they may rupture, according to the director of Noorderzijlvest, Wim Brenkman. Even before the Summer Noorderzijlvest wants to start reinforcing 20 km of dike along the Eemskanaal. Additional research is needed to determine how best to go about the task of raising and broadening the dikes. The Groningen water boards have taken precautions to prepare for heavier quakes. The boards have large bags of sand ready in Delfzijl in case the dike passages can not be closed due to damage or subsidence after an earthquake, according to Brenkman. The boards also intensify their inspections after every quake larger than 3.0 on the Richter scale.