Chilean Navy warns of tsunami danger on Pacific Coast

11 March 2011 17:55  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service of the Chilean navy has issued a tsunami alert for the coastal areas of the country, the local daily el Mercurio said on Friday.

The Chilean government called for calm while scientists study what effects the devastating earthquake in Japan might have for Chile’s long and narrow Pacific coastline.

The tsunami alert was for both the coastal and interior regions, according to the alert.

The navy’s oceanographic service estimated arrival times for different locations along the coast and said updates would be issued throughout the day.

The tsunami wave is expected to hit the Easter Island at 17:47 hours (Chile’s continental time). The island was being evacuated, according to reports.

The port of Valparaiso, near Santiago, was expected to receive the wave shortly after midnight local time.

However, local sources did not expect major consequences of the tsunami in Chile.

There were no reports of production interruptions in the refineries and chemical plants of Chile.

Enap, the national oil company, has two refineries, one in Concepcion and another one north of Santiago, the capital.

Concepcion also has a polyethylene plant (Dow) and a polypropylene plant (Petroquim).

A Petroquim source said that operations were normal, despite the fact that the plant site was near the coast and only about 5 feet above sea level.

A Petroquim official said there was a wait-and-see attitude and many uncertainties about the magnitude of the waves.

Official information about the effects of the tsunami in other areas could change things rapidly, the Petroquim source said.

By: George Martin
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