Earthquake felt in central Groningen

800px-Groningen_-_Hoge_en_Lage_der_A_-_Bert_Kaufmann January 27, 2014. . (Groningen. Source: Wikimedia Commons/Bert Kaufmann)

An earthquake with a magnitude of 2.8 on the Richter scale has been felt in Groningen around 13:42 on Tuesday. The quake, which occurred a few kilometers from Groningen near the village Ten Boer, was felt in a wide area, but no damage was reported.

Local councillor Paul de Rook tweeted that he could feel the earthquake from inside Groningen city hall, and that he had not yet felt such a strong shock.

According to the Dutch meteorological office, KNMI, the quake caused the ground to tremble sharply.

Many of the Groningen earthquakes are said to be caused by the re-settling of land following the extraction of natural gas from underneath the northern province. The first reported earthquake was centered near Assen in 1986, with over 1,000 quakes reported since.

The city of Groningen is not a stranger to earthquakes, experiencing tremors every year since 2011. The worst earthquake ever measured happened in 1997 with a magnitude of 3.4.

Many local residents have protested the extraction demanding a stop to gas production. Protesters celebrated a victory in January when Prime Minister Mark Rutte agreed that the earthquakes not only cause material damage but also serious emotional damage.

According to De Volkskrant, Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij (NAM), a Dutch petroleum company has received over 12,000 damage claims. The Netherlands has made over €250 billion selling the extracted resource.