Over 400 damage reports linked to two earthquakes

earthquake Richter. (Picture: Matt Katzenberger/Flickr)

The Center for Safe Housing (CVW) in Groningen said they received 347 damage reports after the 3.1-magnitude earthquake in Hellum, Groningen on Wednesday night. Of those, 63 are from Slochteren, a town roughly four kilometers south of the epicenter.

Residents reported feeling the earthquake as far away as Veendam, about 20 kilometers away from Hellum. The quake began at 8:05 p.m., meteorological agency KNMI reported.

The majority of the damage reported have been cracks in walls and plastering of homes with the number of reports expected to rise. There have been no reports of any collapsed buildings. It was the strongest earthquake of the year in Groningen, which is plagued with tremors linked to the natural gas extraction business in the region.

A second earthquake followed three-and-a-half hours later in Emmen. There were 56 damage reports from there, CVW stated. That earthquake was also linked to work in a nearby natural gas well, the Dutch Petroleum Company (NAM) told the NRC.

The natural gas field near Emmen is about 10 billion cubic meters in size. This gas field is also believed to be the cause of 11 tremors felt in the area of the past few years.

The CVW have been working to strengthen homes and other building in earthquake-prone areas in an effort to reduce the damage caused by them.