Groningen rocked by strong earthquake

Seismograph showing earthquake activity
Seismograph showing earthquake activityPhoto: albund/DepositPhotos

Groningen was hit by a major earthquake at around 5:50 a.m. on Wednesday morning. The quake had a magnitude of 3.4 on the Richter scale, according to meteorological institute KNMI. 

Many people across a large area of the province felt the quake. RTV Noord received over a hundred reports of it. The epicenter was at Westerwijtwerd, a village in the north of the province that falls under the municipality of Loppersum, according to the KNMI. The meteorological institute called it an induced earthquake, which means that it was caused by gas extraction in the province.

"This morning's quake is now  in the top 3 of the strongest in Groningen", KNMI seismologist Laslo Evers said to NOS. "This quake will have caused damage."

The strongest earthquake ever to hit Groningen was in Huizinge in 2012, with a magnitude of 3.6. In January last year, the province was also hit by a 3.4 magnitude earthquake, also in the municipality of Loppersum. Some 3 thousand damage reports were received after that quake. That earthquake was partly responsible for the government deciding to gradually reduce gas extraction in the province to zero.