SANTIAGO, March 26 (BSS/AFP) - Chilean authorities ordered the evacuation of the central coast of Chile Sunday because of the threat of a tsunami after a 7.1 magnitude quake.
Government spokesman Andres Chadwick said the Office of
National Emergencies had issued the evacuation order as a
precaution due to "observation of a certain intake of the sea."
Chadwick said the decision was taken preventively to protect
the population even though the visual sighting of the sea
conditions had not been confirmed by technical experts from the
navy's Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service.
Sunday's 7.1 magnitude quake shook Chile's central Maule
region, which was devastated in February 2010 by a massive 8.8
earthquake followed by tsunamis.
More than 500 people were killed in the 2010 disaster, most
of them by tsunamis that slammed into villages and towns.
Chilean authorities were sharply criticized after that event
for failing to issue a tsunami warning in time to evacuate
coastal towns and villages.
After the quake in Chile Sunday, the Pacific Tsunami Warning
Center said "a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami is not expected."