Earthquake zone Netherlands: the easy-to-handle isolation pendulums can be installed in even inaccessible places and in new buildings.

Munich, Usquert. The large-scale extraction of gas in the area around Groningen results in frequent ‘artificial’ earthquakes triggered by subterranean landslips. Calculations have shown that measures must be taken to protect many existing buildings in the region against earthquake damage. This is a particular challenge with older buildings. With its SIP®-D-type Sliding Isolation Pendulum MSA®, MAURER offers an effective solution that is receiving a huge response. The bearings isolate the building from the subsurface and are at the same time so light and thus easy to handle that they can be used in even difficult locations in existing buildings, for example in a listed farmhouse in Usquert.

Two earthquakes occurred in 2018, with a particularly severe magnitude of 3.4 on 8 January. This does not sound very much, but the earthquakes are a result of natural gas extraction in the Groningen field. The epicentres are not very far from the earth’s surface and the tremors are therefore felt particularly acutely. Even earthquakes of a magnitude of 3 cause damage.

Around 150,000 people live in the region to the east of Groningen and earthquakes have already damaged thousands of houses. The whole thing has become a political issue and, following public protests, politicians have ordered the annual output to be curbed. Gas extraction is set to be discontinued by 2030.