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Earthquake shakes northern Netherlands, no injuries reported

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — A magnitude 3.4 earthquake has shaken the northern Dutch province of Groningen, the latest in a series of tremors blamed on decades of gas extraction from underground reserves.

The country's meteorological institute says the quake early Wednesday near the village of Westerwijtwerd was one of the most powerful ever to hit the Netherlands. There were no immediate reports of any injuries.

The lucrative Groningen gas field is one of the world's largest natural gas reserves but quakes caused by extraction have damaged thousands of homes. The Dutch government already has cut gas extraction in the region and said last year it must be halved by 2022 or earlier, with more cuts later leading to "zero" extraction.

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