At least three people died during a massive storm that hit the Netherlands on Thursday. Three men were killed in separate accidents in Zwolle, Enschede, and Vuren, the local police departments report.
Weather conditions in the Netherlands today range from snow in Groningen to temperatures as high as 10 degrees in the south of the country, according to meteorological institute KNMI.
Almost all parties in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, demanded that Minister Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs and Climate come up with a protocol for handling earthquake damage caused by gas extraction in Groningen within two weeks. Wiebes will make haste on such a protocol, but can not give a time frame for when it will be ready, he said in a parliamentary debate on the matter on Tuesday, NOS reports.
The Centrum Veilig Wonen (CVW), the Dutch official contact point related to earthquake damage, counted 1311 damage reports filed after the earthqueke that struck in Zeerijp last Monday. Around 200 damage reports come from the municipality of Zeerijp.
A 3.4-magnitude earthquake rattled the province of Groningen on Monday afternoon. It has been the hardest earthquake in Groningen since 2012. The KNMI meterology agency qualified the earthquake as "heavy".
The Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy Eric Wiebes announced that he intends to accelerate the process of decreasing the gas production in Groningen. The minister made the declaration shortly after a relatively strong earthquake, caused by removing natural gas from the ground in the region, shook the province Monday afternoon, according to FD.
The Centrum Veilig Wonen (CVW) in Groningen received 316 damage claims related to a magnitude 3.4 earthquake that struck Monday afternoon, newspaper AD reported. Some 46 of these complaints come directly from the village of Zeerijp, the epicenter of the earthquake.
Most of the damage reported are for cracks in walls and door that won't open. According to CVW spokesperson Arjan van de Leur, the agency is expecting the number of claims to rise much higher in the coming days. "Most of the people make a true estimation with daylight or over the weekend", he told AD.
A 3.4-magnitude earthquake rattled the province of Groningen on Monday afternoon. There were no immediate damage reports of note following Monday 3 p.m. quake, which had an epicenter near Zeerijp and could be felt at least 10 kilometers away, the KNMI meteorology agency said.
Broadcaster RTV Noord said those in its Europapark, Groningen offices 20 kilometers away could also feel the ground shake.
Attorney Dennis Woudsma said on Twitter it felt as though the building he was in creaked loudly and then began violently shaking as though someone had grabbed it.
In a significant part of the Netherlands temperatures dropped below zero early Monday morning. Temperatures dipped down to -3 degrees Celsius in the north, -1 in the center and 2 degrees in the south, together with a moderate northeastern wind that was relatively strong at the seaside. Meteorologists from weather website Buienradar predicted the overnight wind chill would make it feel as if it were 10 degrees below zero.
After a brief 24-hour respite, very windy weather is expected to return to the Netherlands on Thursday afternoon, causing a challenging rush hour period in Rotterdam, Leiden, Den Haag, and Maastricht. The wind adds an extra problem where a regional public transportation strike is in effect through 11 p.m.
There were no major incidents during New Year's celebrations across the Netherlands, according to initial reports from regional emergency services. So far only Rotterdam reports a sharp increase in the number of incidents.
New Year's celebrations with fireworks in the Netherlands generally go hand-in-hand with dozens of firework related injuries, and this year was no exception. The Eye Hospital in Rotterdam already admitted eight people with a total of 10 injured eyes. And dozens of people were admitted to hospital with burns and other firework related injuries.
Periodic rain showers could dampen New Year's celebrations on Sunday night and Monday morning, according to several weather forecasts for the Netherlands. Southern border provinces can expect high temperatures of 13 degrees, while the rest of the country could peak at 12 degrees, the Dutch national weather service KNMI stated. This could break the New Year's Day warm weather record of 12.3 degrees set in 2006.
On Wednesday the court in Leeuwarden acquitted 40-year-old Cafer G. on appeal. G. was perviously convicted for killing 45-year-old Michael de Vrieze from Burum in 2010. His body was never found. The Leeuwarden court ruled that there is not enough evidence to prove murder, ANP reports.
De Vrieze disappeared from his Groningen home in 2010. The police eventually concluded that he had been murdered there, according to the news wire. G. was also staying in the home at the time. And blood from the victim was later found in the home.
Rail manager ProRail will start experimenting with self-driving trains on several routes next year. The first test involves freight trains on the Betuwe-line. And the first experiment with passenger trains will happen in the province of Groningen, NOS reports.
The freight trains tests will be done in cooperation with Alstom, a company that is developing a system for automatic train operation. The experiment in Groningen will be done in collaboration with transit company Arriva and the province of Groningen.
Two Polish men were robbed and one of them was shot near Zuilen in Groningen around 4:00 a.m. on Wednesday morning. The man was shot in the leg. The police believe two robbers were involved and that they got away with a small amount of money, RTV Noord reports.
According to the police, communication with the victims is difficult because they don't have an interpreter. The two men went to a hospital after the incident, and only called the police after the shot man was treated. The police then went to investigate the scene of the crime.
The bodies of two people were found in a home in the sparsely populated farming town of Vlagtwedde on Friday. The police responded to the home in the Groningen town after receiving a report about a disturbed man, NOS reports.
The responding officer called in a SWAT team when no one opened the home's door. Inside two bodies were found.
Groningen student Wouter B., 24, was sentenced to 240 hours of community service for inflicting serious injury on an aspiring member to student association Vindicat by standing on his head during hazing. He was also given a 31 day prison sentence, 30 of which conditionally suspended, and must pay 5,066 euros in compensation to the victim, RTL Nieuws reports.
The Public Prosecutor demanded 180 hours of community service and a 90 days suspended prison sentence.
Minister Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs and Climate called gas extraction in Groningen a "Dutch government failure of un-Dutch like proportions" during a visit to various Groningen municipalities affected by fracking earthquakes on Wednesday. He wants to quickly make agreements with the local governments about the consequences of earthquakes in the province, ANP reports.
The police are performing a large investigation in a home on Doornbosheerd in the Groningen neighborhood of Beijum, where they believe Halil Erol was murdered in 2010. Investigators are searching for the murdered man's head and hands, and other trace evidence, Dagblad van het Noorden reports.
On Friday the police arrested a 39-year-old woman from Groningen for involvement in the murder of 34-year-old Halil Erol from Steenwijk in 2010. The woman was arrested based on new information received, the police said in a statement. More arrests may follow.
On Monday a SWAT team of the Groningen police arrested a man suspected of shooting a 21-year-old student in the city, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. 20-year-old Azim A. was arrested in a home on Duindoornstraat in Groningen, the police announced.
Two other people, who were in the home with A., were also arrested. The police are investigating whether they were involved in the shooting.
Last year the biggest proportion of Dutch couples consisted of two highly educated people, instead of one highly educated person and one less educated person as was the case in 2006, Statistics Netherlands reported on Monday. According to the stats office, this can be attributed to the fact that more people in the Netherlands achieve at least a bachelors degree.
Two potato barns on Molenweg in the Groningen town of Westeremden were destroyed in a large fire during the early hours of Monday morning. Asbestos was released in the fire, according to the Groningen fire department.
The larger pieces of asbestos settled in the immediate vicinity of the farm on which the fire raged, but it is possible that smaller pieces spread further. The fire brigade will inform local residents about what to do if they find asbestos around their home on Monday morning, according to RTV Noord.
Missing 12-year-old Emily from Grootegast was found alive in a home in The Hague, the girl's father said on Facebook. The girl is back home and is in good health, the police said to newspaper AD.
Emily was found in the company of a man. The police are investigating what role he played in her disappearance.
The police will talk to Emily later to find out exactly what happened.