Tsunami Scare Revealed Flaws in Warning System

December 21, 2007

A magnitude 7.9 earthquake in Peru and subsequent Tsunami warnings sent thousands of people out of their homes and hotels all along Costa Rica’s Pacific coast on Mother’s Day, Aug. 15.

The warnings were called off two hours later.

Some applauded authorities’ emergency response, but others said it could have been managed better.

Guillermo Quirós, an oceanographer for the Coastal Institute at the San Juan de la Cruz University, said the information used by the media to spread the warning was not accurate and added unnecessary stress to a chaotic situation.

But National Emergency Commission president Daniel Gallardo said that when lives are at stake, better safe than sorry.

Both men agreed, however, that more education is needed in Costa Rica when it comes to reacting to the threat of a tsunami.

 

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