Groningen residents take out ad to remind NL about earthquake damage
Get your hands dirty and quickly solve the problems caused by the earthquakes in Groningen; just as generously as the billions in revenues from gas extraction were spent. The Groninger Soil Movement (GBB) made that appeal on Monday in an advertisement in three national newspapers, AD, Trouw and the Volkskrant. Nine years to the day after the severe earthquake (3.6) near Huizinge, the GBB drew attention to the problems that Groningers still face.
After that quake in 2012, researchers concluded that earthquakes could become more severe in the future due to gas extraction. To reduce the number of earthquakes in the future, as little gas as possible should be extracted. Even now that the gas tap in Groningen is closed, the problems continue unabated, was the message from the GBB. "As early as February 2013, the then Minister of Economic Affairs, Henk Kamp, considered it necessary to reinforce homes. After almost nine years, however, less than 8 percent of the 26,844 houses in the reinforcement operation have actually been reinforced."
More and more houses were found to be damaged. "We are talking about an area with 150,000 homes and 250,000 residents. In 2016, engineers found that virtually no home in the core of the earthquake zone was strong enough to withstand a magnitude 5.0 earthquake. This feeling of constantly living in insecurity caused fear and anger in many. Suddenly, homeowners realized that their home had become unsaleable. Residents who suffered damage after damage and had to fight for compensation for this, suffered health problems," according to the GBB in the advertisement.
The operation to reinforce buildings is going slowly. "A large number of people will have to wait ten to twenty years at the current rate of reinforcement before it is their turn." Unacceptable and therefore every reason to sound the alarm, according to the GBB. "Do not only focus on citizens on paper, but also in reality. We demand that less is calculated and more is done to solve the problems. It is not acceptable for people to be in uncertainty for another ten to fifteen years."
The organization wants, among other things, that "sufficient construction capacity" is reserved for Groningen. "Groningers are not victims of a natural disaster, but thousands of residents have been victimized by irresponsible gas extraction under their homes and by a subsequent failed government policy that still continues," said the interest group.
Reporting by ANP