Inside the Dutch province where gas extraction tremors left houses crumbling

The village of Doodstil – which translates as ‘dead quiet’ in Dutch – feels like it could have been named as part of an elaborate joke.

Despite its name and appearance, this cluster of homes surrounded by flat, green fields and picturesque dykes actually sits in an unlikely earthquake zone.

Fifty-five years of conventional gas extraction from Europe’s largest field have made The Netherlands’ province of Groningen anything but calm.

Now, warned of the risk of a catastrophic earthquake that could cost lives and homes, the Dutch government is gradually turning off the tap to a gas field that has delivered it more than €265 billion (£237 billion) since 1963.


This northern province of just over half…

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