Earthquake in Loppersum; strongest so far this year

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There was an earthquake in Loppersum in Groningen on Tuesday afternoon. The quake measured 2.7 on the Richter scale, making it the strongest earthquake to hit the province so far this year. The municipality of Loppersum called residents to report damage to the Groningen Mining Damage Institute.

The earthquake happened at around 5:15 p.m., according to meteorological institute KNMI. People reported feeling the quake in Loppersum, the city of Groningen, Leermens, Middelstum and Zeerijp, according to RTV Nooord. Before Wednesday, the strongest earthquake of the year measured 2.5 at Zijldijk on May 2. The strongest earthquake ever to hit Groningen was in Huizinge in 2012 and measured 3.6, according to NOS.

The quakes in Groningen are caused by gas mining in the province. Last year, a total of 87 earthquakes happened in the gas fracking area, eleven of which had a magnitude of over 1.5. The government has drastically reduced gas extraction in the province and plans to halt it completely sometime in the second half of 2022. 

On Twitter, mayor Hans Engels of Loppersum called on the national government to do more. "Residents of Loppersum were again frightened by a major earthquake. I hope that it penetrates now in the Hague that we are not there yet and that real steps are finally taken towards a safe and healthy area," he tweeted.