Chile 2014 Mega-Earthquake - Case Study


Courtesy of eVigilo

Reducing casualties by a factor of 100
In 2010, Chile suffered a massive earthquake (8.8!). The Tsunami claimed the lives of 560 people.  Four years later, another mega-earthquake (8.3) hit the Chilean shore. This time the death toll was 5 dead. The difference was a national alert system developed and deployed by evigilo in 2012.

In February 2010, Chile has suffered from one of the worst earthquakes in its history. The event was even more tragic as the country has been hit also by a devastating tsunami right after the earthquake.  Although the information was known and the US Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has delivered all necessary information in time, this precious information has not reached the public. Chile hasn’t had an adequate emergency alert and notification system to alert the target population in time. The result was that most casualties were due to the tsunami. 

It was clear that without a sufficient alert some villages were unaware of the advancing tsunami and failed to flee. The president at the time Michelle Bachelet was severely criticized for the government inaptitude in preparing for and reacting to the disaster. Michelle Bachelet failed to get reelected.

After the dust settled newly (re)elected President Sebastian Pineda decided to put in place a more effective alert system. The decision was to introduce a multi-channel alert and notification system using cell broadcast technology in the first phase to be completed then by further means of notification such as TV broadcast, radio, sirens and Internet. 

Following the President’s order the Chilean Sub Secretary of Telecommunications (Subtel) issued in early 2011 an official tender for deployment of Chile’s next generation emergency alert and notification system.

evigilo won the tender out-performing international competition, demonstrating superior field experience, technical expertise and technological advantage. In 2012 evigilo deployed the system.

On April first, 2014 at 20:46 local time, the 8.3 magnitude earthquake (named: “Iquique “) hit the Chilean Shore . 6 people died. 4 of them from a heart attack. There were no casualties from the tsunami (although 80,000 people were displaced). The first thing that the president of Chile (reelected Michelle Bachelet ) said in a press conference after the tsunami was 'the messages went out in time' and there is no doubt that evigilo's solution saved lives that day.  

The project was based on evigilo’s SMART Alert platform and sends cell broadcast alerts via evigilo SMART Broadcast module. evigilo SMART Alert provides high availability and geo-site redundancy and stands up to the harshest security and reliability requirements. evigilo SMART Alert utilizes standard protocols based on Common Alert Protocol OASIS CAP v1.2 , hence, ensures that any future technology could be seamlessly adopted and integrated. evigilo SMART Alert furthermore supports also legacy and proprietary protocols and subject to customer’s requirements will be able to interface with any future protocol and technology. The evigilo project was completed in a record time of less than 6 months and was available for operation already during October 2011 connected to all 5 mobile operators in Chile.

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