Roughest earthquake of the year strikes Groningen

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No image availableNL Times

Update, 10:30 p.m., 1 October 2015: A previous version of this story indicated the time of the earthquake as 6:05 p.m.

The strongest earthquake of the year struck the Groningen province at 8:05 p.m. on Wednesday, according to Dutch meteorological agency KNMI. The earthquake measured 3.1 on the Richter Scale, with an epicentre near Hellum, about 20 kilometers east of the city of Groningnen.

Regional broadcaster RTV Noord said audience members 18 kilometers away in Veendam reported feeling tremors. More calls came in from closer towns, including Hoogezand, Noordbroek, Scheemda, Schildwolde, Siddeburen, and Zuidbroek.

Groningen’s worst-ever earthquake had an epicentre at Huizinge. The 2012 incident hit 3.6 on the Richter Scale.

Earthquakes in the province increased dramatically as the Netherlands ramped up natural gas extraction in the region. The country is in the process of reducing the amount of gas removed from the ground in the hopes of slowing or stopping further tremors.