Aftershocks Set Off Tsunami Confusion
Government issues false tsunami warnings
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 3, 2010 4:19 PM CST
A woman, holding her baby, sits on the ground after she climbed a hill during a false tsunami alarm in Talcahuano, Chile, Wednesday, March 3, 2010.   (AP Photo/ Natacha Pisarenko)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – Three big aftershocks rocked Chile today, triggering tsunami confusion in the hard-hit south-central regions. The aftershocks had a magnitude of 5.9 to 6.3, coming off Saturday's 8.8-magnitude quake. Tsunami sirens in at least three towns sent residents scrambling for high ground in the Bio Bio and Maule coastal regions, the Wall Street Journal reports.

But the national emergency service, which has come under fire for failing to issue a tsunami warning last week, issued a statement soon after today's quake saying no tsunami alert was being issued. The reason for the discrepancy in the local towns isn't clear. About half of the 800 confirmed deaths came from those regions.