Earthquake shakes Appingedam

An earthquake in Appingedam, in the North of The Netherlands, on Saturday has not caused any known damage. A spokesperson for the Netherlands Crude Oil Company (NAM) tells De Telegraaf that no reports of damage have come in related to the earthquake, which was caused by NAM's gas extraction activities in the North. 

The earthquake had a strength of 2.0 on the seismograph, the KNMI reports after new calculations. Earlier, the meteorological institute believed that the earthquake had hit 2.2 on the scale.

A spokesperson for NAM says that the epicenter of the quake would certainly experience damage, "but the expectation is that this will be relatively limited, seeing the force of the earthquake."

In Groningen and Drenthe, NAM's oil extraction activities make the earth quake an average of two times a week. As of yet, the quakes have only caused damage to homes, and nobody has yet been personally injured. The biggest earthquake in the area so far was in August 2006 in Westeremden with a force of 3.5. This year, the biggest shock was in Leermens in February, at 3.0 on the scale.

Gas extraction started in Slochterenveld, Groningen in 1963. The first earthquake resulting from these activities was recorded almost 28 years ago, on the 26th of December 1986.

Due to the buildings becoming damaged due to the quakes, the Cabinet is making almost €1.2 billion available to tackle this. It has also been decided to extract less gas from Groningen, which started earlier this year.