King Willem-Alexander visited the town of Loppersum on Thursday to show his solidarity with the community affected by the ongoing earthquake crisis. RTV Noord reports that the king met with homeowners who are having their homes demolished and rebuilt, as well as business owners who have been impacted by the reinforcement work.
The king began his visit at the old rectory, where he spoke with two homeowners and a tenant about the demolition and reconstruction of their homes. Few houses in Loppersum are earthquake-resistant. While some houses are being reinforced, many are being torn down and rebuilt.
After the meeting at the rectory, the king took a stroll through the center of Loppersum. He visited a pharmacy and a bookstore, both currently operating from temporary locations as their original premises are being reinforced. The business owners shared their experiences of the relocation process.
The king’s final stop was at the Wereldwinkel, a gift shop that moved to its reinforced building this year. There, the king engaged with other local entrepreneurs and representatives from the community council (Dorpsbelangen) to discuss earthquake-related issues. The conversations also touched on sustainability, with a focus on exploring opportunities for making buildings more environmentally friendly during the reinforcement process.
Earlier on Thursday, King Willem-Alexander inaugurated the new premises of Iederz, a social work and training organization located in the city of Groningen. Employees who attended the opening reported that the king considered it ‘a great honor.’
The visit to Loppersum marks the monarch’s tenth visit to the earthquake-affected region. Last year, he paid a visit to Middelstum, while previous visits took him to locations such as Overschild, Steendam, Siddeburen, Appingedam, and Uithuizermeeden.
The Groningen region has grappled with seismic disturbances for more than three decades. The seismic activity in the province is the result of the extraction of natural gas from the field in Slochteren which lies three kilometers underground and ranks as one of Europe’s most extensive gas reservoirs. Specialists say the gas extraction operations in this field have caused the ground to subside, which has led to earthquakes.
https://northerntimes.nl/king-willem-alexander-visits-loppersum-engages-with-earthquake-victims/ King Willem-Alexander visits Loppersum, engages with earthquake victims – The Northern Times