Tuesday, June 18, 2024

‘Sorry:’ Mexico City officials apologize after error triggers seismic alert

The Mexico City government apologized on Friday night after the earthquake alarm was accidentally activated in at least four boroughs just after 7:00pm, causing people to rush into the streets.

“Due to a regrettable error that we will review internally the seismic alert was activated at 900 posts in the city. We apologize to the public,” Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum wrote on Twitter.

The alarm was heard in neighborhoods in the boroughs of Cuauhtémoc, Benito Juárez, Miguel Hidalgo and Tlalpan.

With the devastating earthquake of September 19, 2017, still fresh in the memory of Mexico City residents, the sounding of the seismic alert – which depending on the location of a quake can give people up to a minute to flee buildings that could be susceptible to collapse – triggers immediate fear and anxiety in many.

The C5 security command center said in a statement posted to social media that the alert was inadvertently set off while tests were being carried out to ensure that the earthquake alarm’s audio system was functioning correctly.

“This test consists of sending a file without audio to the 13,337 loudspeakers of the system [that are] divided in groups of posts. One of these groups, made up of 900 posts, was not properly configured and consequently reproduced the seismic alert file instead of reproducing the file without audio,” the statement said.

It added that the tests had been suspended while the problem was being corrected.

“The Mexico City C5 command center offers an apology to the citizens of Mexico City for the inconvenience caused,” the statement concluded.

Source: El Universal (sp) 

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