Mistakenly issued tsunami warning? Chilean lawmakers send letter to Interior Ministry demanding thorough investigation

A magnitude 7.0 earthquake occurred near the South Shetland Islands. Image Source: Screenshot of the website of the United States Geological Survey

The Chilean congresswoman Claudia Meeks sent a letter to the Ministry of Interior’s National Emergency Office, demanding a thorough investigation into why the Chilean government mistakenly sent a tsunami warning message to the nation’s population, according to a report on Jan. 26, according to South America’s Network.

As previously reported, a 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck near the South Shetland Islands in Antarctica at a depth of 9.6 kilometres at around 7.36pm BST on the 24th.

Subsequently, Chile ordered the evacuation of the country’s scientific base in Antarctica. A 5.8 magnitude earthquake also struck near the Chilean capital Santiago, with no casualties reported.

The Chilean Interior Ministry sent a mobile phone warning message to the entire country urging people to evacuate from coastal areas as soon as possible due to fears of a tsunami caused by the earthquake.

However, the Ministry later said that the message had been sent “by mistake”.

Congressman Meeks believes that the Chilean Ministry of the Interior should release a detailed report on the erroneous “mass” warning message to the public as soon as possible.

Meeks also demanded that “the authorities should take measures to prevent similar incidents from happening again in the future.

This could have a negative impact on the credibility of Chile’s national early warning system.”

Chile’s interior minister, Rodrigo Delgado, publicly expressed regret over the incident.

He said that the initial assessment was that the erroneous “mass” tsunami warning messages were the result of technical reasons.