Chilean gov't admits army's mistake for ignoring tsunami

09:59, March 01, 2010      

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The Chilean government admitted on Sunday that the Army made a mistake by ignoring the possibility of a tsunami off the southern coasts of the country after the 8.8-magnitude earthquake on Saturday.

Chilean Defense Minister Francisco Vidal said that the earthquake produced big waves that left a large number of victims in the coasts of Chile.

"There was a mistake. The Army made a mistake by not warning about the

tsunami," Vidal said.

Vidal said "fortunately" the country's system still was able to help save thousands of people.

"With that system despite the mistake of diagnosis, we could inform the people who were able to go to the hill," Vida said.

Big waves of tsunami razed many coastal zones of Maule and Bio Bio regions.

On Saturday morning, Chile was hit by an earthquake of 8.8 magnitude on the Richter scale. A total of 708 people have been confirmed killed in the quake and the death toll is likely to rise.

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