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Chile – New casino could be built in tsunami danger zone

By - 10 October 2022

With the approval of the Municipal Works Department of San Antonio de Chile, the gambling board could grant a new casino licence in the area after it gave the go-ahead for the construction of a waterfront-style casino.

In an eight-page report, the San Antonio Municipal Works Department rated the feasibility of installing a casino in a building on the waterfront of the commune as favourable. According to the document, one of the projects located on the coastal edge of the city, was chosen by the Municipality of San Antonio, despite the fact that “the property is located in the Vulnerable Zone of the Tsunami Risk Plan of the city”.

Despite this the city hall, gave a favourable rating to the project, to the detriment of another second proposal.

Carlos Arriagada, deputy superintendent of the SJC, explained that the reports will be made public once the evaluation process ends, which is still ongoing.

Member of the Council of San Antonio, Lorena Zamorano, criticised the move saying that a casino project was especially problematic for the area given the potential danger.

“Casinos are generally attended at night, it is not the same visibility as during the day, if something happens, there are usually underground parking lots (…) if something happens, well, there is an earthquake everywhere, but not a tsunami,” she said

Chile is affected by destructive earthquakes; of these earthquakes, those occurring offshore have the potential to generate destructive tsunamis. San Antonio is especially vulnerable according to researchers. In Chile overall the tsunami hazard is classified as high. This means that there is more than a 40 per cent chance of a potentially-damaging tsunami occurring in the next 50 years.

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