A 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck Antarctica on Saturday at 8:36 pm local time, northeast of a Chilean science base.
The Ministry of the Interior of Chile sent a warning to evacuate coastal areas from Antarctica due to the risk of a tsunami, but the message also went to cell phones across Chile, urging people to abandon coastal areas, According to Reuters.
The ministry then said the message was sent in error.
“We want to provide peace of mind to the population, and we tell them that it is not necessary to evacuate the entire national territory, only the Antarctic base,” Miguel Ortiz of the ministry’s National Emergency Office said at a press conference.
The agency expressed its regret that the message caused a lot of panic and inconvenience.
Chilean mining regulator Sernagomin said that in the aftermath of the earthquake, 80 people were evacuated from the main base in Antarctica and 80 more from three other bases, According to the New Strait Times.
Residents of the coastal cities of La Serena and Valparaiso in Chile have started leaving their homes after receiving a cell phone warning. After learning that the warning was a mistake, another earthquake struck the border region between Chile and Argentina.
There were no reports of damage from the two quakes.