Over 800 damage reports from recent Groningen earthquakes
The Groningen Mining Damage Institute (IMG) has received 800 reports of damage since the earthquakes near Uithuizermeeden and Uithuizen this past weekend. On Saturday evening, hours after the incident quakes, the IMG had learned of 52 reports. The Groningen villages were startled in the afternoon by earthquakes with a magnitude of 2.7 and 1.7 on the Richter scale, respectively.
Of the 800 reports, 179 came from the immediate affected area, the zone around the epicenters. In addition to Uithuizermeeden and Uithuizen, the affected area also includes places such as Loppersum, Middelstum and Roodeschool. Damage reports also came from more distant places such as the city of Groningen (167), Haren (21), Veendam (20), Hoogezand (17) and Winschoten (14). Some reports also came from locations in the neighboring province of Friesland, according to the IMG.
The institute received 18 reports of situations which could be acutely unsafe, ten of which came from the affected area. In two cases, "additional safety measures" were taken after inspection, according to IMG.
Of the 800 claimants, 306 opted for fixed compensation of 5,000 euros to immediately settle the claim. The others opted for a customized procedure, where an expert will visit the locations to investigate the cause and extent of the damage. It is also possible to have the damage repaired instead of accepting compensation.
The municipality of Het Hogeland, which includes Uithuizermeeden and Uithuizen, will hold an information meeting about the recent earthquakes together with the KNMI and the State Supervision of Mines (SodM) on Monday evening. According to the municipality, these "again have a lot of impact on residents" and it concerns "a striking series of earthquakes."
Earthquakes occur more frequently in Groningen as a result of decades of gas extraction. The heaviest earthquake to date was on 16 August 2012, near Huizinge. It registered at magnitude 3.6.