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Chile Navy 'Made Mistake' In Not Warning Of Tsunami

Over 700 people have been killed in the disaster
Chile's defense minister says the country's navy made a mistake by not immediately issuing a tsunami warning after the massive earthquake that struck the country on February 27.

Reports say that many of the 708 people who are known to have been killed in the 8.8-magnitude quake were in coastal regions that were overwhelmed by tsunami waves following the temblor.

More than 300 people are reported to have been killed in the fishing village of Constitucion, which was hit by both the quake and the tsunami.

Defense Minister Francisco Vidal told reporters on February 28 that the "navy committed an error" in not alerting about a tsunami.

Following the quake, a surge of water raced from Chile across the Pacific, prompting officials in 53 nations to post tsunami warnings.

But the waves proved small as they moved past Hawaii, Australia, and elsewhere and on to Japan and Russia.

compiled from agency reports