Chile response to giant quake drew on 3/11

Kyodo

A senior Chilean government official said lessons learned from Japan’s 2011 earthquake and tsunami disasters as well as from the 2010 huge temblor in Chile were useful in dealing with a powerful earthquake that hit his country last week.

“There is a lot we can learn from each other’s tragedies,” presidential spokesman Alvaro Elizalde said Monday, adding that he hopes the countries will continue to share what they have experienced in the disasters.

A magnitude-8.2 earthquake hit northern Chile on April 1 and aftershocks destroyed more than 2,000 houses, with the reported death toll just seven.

Elizalde pointed to lessons drawn from past disasters at home and abroad as the key to minimizing the casualties, referring to the South American country’s powerful earthquake in 2010 and Japan’s March 2011 disasters.

He said Chilean President Michelle Bachelet’s emergency task force functioned properly and people were swiftly evacuated thanks to a warning issued shortly after the quake.

The government has learned from its mistakes in the 2010 quake during Bachelet’s first term in office in which many were killed because of the government’s error in issuing tsunami alerts, Elizalde added.