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    Three earthquakes hit Belgium in 2019

    The strongest seismic activity last year was the 23 June earthquake near Dessel. Credit: Google Maps

    A total of 45 natural earthquakes were measured in and around Belgium in 2019, including three that were felt locally, the Royal Observatory of Belgium (ROB) disclosed on Thursday.

    The strongest seismic activity last year was the 23 June earthquake near Dessel, with a magnitude of 2.1 on the Richter scale.

    In addition to the 45 natural earthquakes, there were 14 induced ones, caused by human activity, such as geothermal drilling, while 199 mine explosions and other controlled explosions were observed.

    Most of these seismic events went unnoticed, and the population was only able to feel three of them.

    These include a natural earthquake measuring 1.6 on the Richter scale that occurred on 5 December 2019 at a depth of 6.1 kilometres. The two others were induced: one in Dessel on 23 June 2019, measured 2.1, while the other, an explosion in Lessines on 20 May 2019, measured 1.8.

    No damage was observed last year, the ROB said.

    The Observatory also registered at least 16 measurable explosions at sea in 2019, most of them conducted by the Belgian, French or Dutch navy to destroy bombs left over from the First and Second World Wars.

    Oscar Schneider
    The Brussels Times