Third quake hits Groningen

17th November 2003, Comments 0 comments

17 November 2003 , AMSTERDAM — The northern province of Groningen experienced its third earthquake in a month as a tremor hit 2.7 on the Richter scale at 9.04pm on Sunday. But a seismologist said there is no cause for concern.

17 November 2003

AMSTERDAM — The northern province of Groningen experienced its third earthquake in a month as a tremor hit 2.7 on the Richter scale at 9.04pm on Sunday. But a seismologist said there is no cause for concern.

The epicentre was located about 1km to the north of the 10 November earthquake, which was centered northeast of Groningen between Stedum and Westeremden. The epicentre of an October quake was located 6km away from the second quake at Hoeksmeer. 

Weather, climate and seismology bureau KNMI said five people from the Loppersum municipality reported to authorities that they felt the earthquake on Sunday, an NOS news report said. No injuries have been reported.

"It occurred just like last week, as though a train is running under your house," said Loppersum municipality resident Hans Warink, whose house was badly damaged in last week's quake. "I am not easily scared, but around here you do become agitated."

Huizinge resident Harry van Leeuwen said his house shook terribly during the tremor, saying that paintings clapped and bounced against the walls, newspaper Dagblad van het Noorden reported.

About 25 people reported the 10 November earthquake to emergency authorities. Both the 24 October and 10 November tremors were 3.0 on the Richter scale and seismologists described them as being "very powerful" in comparison with normal Dutch quakes.

The De Bilt-based KNMI said gas drilling works in the Groningen region were to blame for the earthquakes. Earth movements regularly occur in the province.

The bureau has recorded almost 50 earthquakes in the region measuring between 1.5 and 3.0 on the Richter scale. The tremors take place along existing faults at a depth of 3km, approximately the depth where the gas is being mined.

A KNMI spokesman, Bernhard Dost, said after the 10 November quake that it was pure coincidence that two powerful earthquakes have been recorded in a short space of time. And in response to the third earthquake, Dost said the frequency of the tremors was not alarming: "This quake is somewhat smaller than the others. We can expect this in a gas mining region".

The strongest earthquake to have hit a Dutch gas mining region occurred in September 2001 when a tremor measuring 3.2 on the Richter scale was recorded at Alkmaar, a city north of Amsterdam.

[Copyright Expatica News 2003]

Subject: Dutch news

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