SANTIAGO, CHILE - OCTOBER 21: Demonstrators display flags and banners during a protest against President Sebastian Piñera on October 21, 2019 in Santiago, Chile. President Sebastian Piñera suspended the 3.5% subway fare hike and declared the state of emergency for the first time since the return of democracy in 1990. Protests had begun on Friday and developed into looting and arson, generating chaos in Santiago, Valparaiso and a dozen other cities resulting in at least 8 dead. (Photo by Marcelo Hernandez/Getty Images)

The message was only meant for Chilean bases in Antarctica

Chilean authorities have apologized for spreading panic with a confused tsunami warning, based on reports.

Chile’s interior ministry sent a warning for the coastal regions of Antarctica to be evacuated due to a tsunami hazard, but the message also went out to mobile phones throughout Chile, urging people to depart coastal areas, based on Reuters.

The ministry stated afterward that the message sent in error.

“we would like to give peace of mind to the population, tell them that it is not necessary to evacuate the whole national territory, only the Antarctic base,” Miguel Ortiz of this ministry’s National Emergency Office said at a news conference.

The agency expressed sorrow that the message caused so much dread and inconvenience.

The Chilean mining ruler Sernageomin explained that after the earthquake, 80 people were evacuated in the key Antarctic base and another 80 individuals from three other bases, according to the New Strait Times.

Residents in the Chilean coastal cities of La Serena and Valparaiso began to leave their houses after receiving the mobile phone warning. After they learned the warning was a mistake, another tremor struck the Chile-Argentina border area.

No damage was reported from quake.