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Chilean gov't defends emergency plan after Japan's earthquake

03-15-2011 14:57 BJT Special Report:9.0 Magnitude Earthquake Rocks Japan |

SANTIAGO, March 14 (Xinhua) -- The Chilean government on Monday defended its emergency plan of evacuating some coastal community in risk, after the earthquake and tsunami of Japan.

Chilean Interior Minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter told reporters about the importance of evacuating 600,000 people in the northern coast, such as in Arica, Pisagua, Antofogasta and Iquique.

"The government did what it had to do, it took the risks and the coast of taking a difficult decision, but it was prudent. We think that these decisions must be taken with braveness and following the protocol and the objective information," he said.

The opposition has criticized the Chilean government for its procedures during the tsunami alert on Friday.

Meanwhile, Chilean Government spokeswoman Ena von Baer told reporters that "it is clear that we have learnt and we have improved the procedures."

However, the earthquake and tsunami of February 2010 and the tsunami alert on Friday "are two events of completely different nature, in one case it was an earthquake in Chile and the other a tsunami for an earthquake in Japan."

According to official figures, the tsunami on Friday damaged some 200 houses and also made minor damages in infrastructure and some ships.

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: Xinhua

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