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Chile triggers national panic by mistakenly sending tsunami warning after quake

January 25, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 67.8%. 1 min read.

Authorities in Chile have expressed regret for spreading panic with a mistaken tsunami warning calling for people to get out of coastal areas following an earthquake in Antarctica.

Authorities in Chile have expressed regret for spreading panic with a mistaken tsunami warning calling for people to get out of coastal areas following an earthquake in Antarctica.

On Saturday evening at 8:36 p. m. , the country's interior ministry tweeted a warning that a magnitude 7. 1 earthquake had struck, 216 kilometers (about 134 miles) northeast of the O'Higgins Chilean scientific base at the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula.

In its tweet, the ministry called for coastal regions of Antarctica to be evacuated due to a tsunami risk.

But the ministry mistakenly sent the message to cellphones across the entire country, urging people to abandon coastal areas.

The tsunami warning for Antarctica was later lifted.

P{eople in coastal cities including La Serena, to the north of Santiago, and Valparaiso, started to leave areas close to the coast after the warning -- until reports stated that it was a false alarm.

As Chileans were reacting to the warning, a second tremor, of magnitude 5. 6, struck the Chile-Argentina border region according to the GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences.

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

The Chilean mining regulator Sernageomin said that workers, mining operations and facilities had reported no problems after the quake.

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