Chile regrets the panic brought on by a false tsunami warning after the quake


© Reuters. A cell phone with a tsunami warning message accidentally sent from the National Emergency Bureau in Vina del Mar


By Aislinn Laing and Fabian Cambero

SANTIAGO (Reuters) – Authorities in Chile said Saturday they regretted the spread of panic with a mistaken tsunami warning urging people to evacuate coastal areas following an earthquake in Antarctica.

The Home Office said on Twitter that it had a 7.1 magnitude tremor at 8:36 p.m. 216 km northeast of the Chilean scientific base O & # 39; Higgins and called for the evacuation of the coastal regions of Antarctica due to a risk of tsunami.

The ministry also sent a message to cellphones across the country asking people to leave the coastal areas, although the ministry later said it was sent in error.

"We want to calm the population and tell them that it is not necessary to evacuate the entire national territory, only the Antarctic base," said Miguel Ortiz of the ministry's National Emergency Bureau (ONEMI) at a press conference.

He said the agency regretted the inconvenience caused by their news, which he attributed to a technical error.

The tsunami warning for Antarctica was later lifted.

People in coastal cities like La Serena north of Santiago and Valparaiso left coastal areas after the warning until reports surfaced that it was a false alarm.

When the Chileans reacted to the warning, a second tremor with a magnitude of 5.6 hit the border region Chile-Argentina at 9:07 p.m., the GFZ's German Research Center for Geosciences announced at a depth of 133 km and 30 km east of Santiago.

No damage was reported in either of the quakes.

The second was located near the Andina and Teniente mines of Codelco and Anglo-American (LON 🙂 Los Bronces from PLC.

The Chilean Mining Authority Sernageomin said workers, miners and facilities had not reported any problems after the quake.

Sernageomin said that after the first quake, 80 people were evacuated from Chile's main base in Antarctica, the Presidente Eduardo Frei Montalva base on the Fildes Peninsula west of King George Island, and 55 others from three other bases and five foreign bases.

The army said no damage was reported at the Antarctic base.

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