It is happening regularly – a tremor in the earth close to the city of Groningen in Holland. The latest shook the area on Wednesday night.
The epicentre was in a village near Loppersum where residents have blamed gas exploration for the series of shocks which have caused damage to homes.
Wednesday’s tremor has led to over 30 complaints to the Dutch Petroleum Company.
“When I sit here on the couch in the evening sometimes I hear cracks from the settling from the constructions. So one day maybe the roof will fall on us,” said one home owner Hans Kroeze.
The latest tremor measured 3.0 on the Richter scale. The drilling for gas has been reduced but a spokesperson for the Dutch Petroleum Company said it would not provide immediate results. One expert said they are getting stronger.
“After 2003 more events started to become higher with a magnitude greater than 3 to 3.6,” explained local seismologist Bernard Dost.
Residents have staged protests in their bid to have the gas drilling stopped. The Netherlands government has admitted the quakes are caused by the drilling which is done using hydraulic fracturing commonly called fracking. It is expected the bill for compensation for damages to the villages will top 1.2 billion euros.
The government will reduce its gas production in the next two years by 21 percent.