Minister Steve Blok (Economic Affairs) rushes to Groningen after the recent earthquake in Groningen. He said in the House of Representatives on Tuesday that he plans to head to the Northern Province next week, but is moving forward with the visit.
The village of Jarlssuer was hit by a 3.2-magnitude earthquake early in the night. It was one of the most powerful earthquakes of the last decade. “The earthquake was a blow, literally,” the outgoing minister said during a question-and-answer question from SP.
The region will continue to suffer from earthquakes in the coming years. Block admitted that the mystery remains. The crux of the matter for him remains the rapid phasing out of gas extraction and acceleration of the boosting process. Block calls it “extremely painful” that the government has not been able to deliver on its earlier promises of reinforcements.
Strengthening 13,700 homes
Last Tuesday, Minister Kajsa Olungren (Home Affairs) announced that 27,000 homes in Groningen still need to be inspected or strengthened. The government expects that 13,700 of these will have to be reinforced. Residents should get clarification on this by 2023 at the latest.
Block promised to stop extracting gas as soon as possible. However, there is a possibility that additional gas will be extracted “for some time” because the construction of the nitrogen plant has been delayed by a few months. The gas imported there should be suitable for Dutch households.
Block said Shell’s decision to become all-British and move its headquarters to the UK would not affect claims processing in Groningen.