Last updated: 11:30 AM ET, Fri September 18 2015

Chilean Tourist Destinations Operating Normally Following Earthquake

Destination & Tourism | Brian Major | September 18, 2015

Chilean Tourist Destinations Operating Normally Following Earthquake

PHOTO: Tourism destinations including Puerto Varas, Vhile (pictured above) are operating normally following Wednesday’s earthquake. (photo by Brian Major)

Chile’s major tourist destinations are operating normally following the Sept. 16 earthquake based on a preliminary assessment made by the country’s undersecretary of tourism in conjunction with the National Tourism Service, said Chile Tourism Board officials in a statement.

The earthquake measured 8.4 in magnitude, with its epicenter located more than 280 miles from the capital Santiago. The quake mainly impacted the northern Chilean cities of Coquimbo and Illapel.

The evacuation order issued for Chile’s central and northern coast by authorities immediately after the earthquake was lifted Thursday. Local communities were not affected by the earthquake have returned to normal operations, according to the statement.

Chilean tourism authorities say the country’s major tourism destinations, including the Antofagasta region, San Pedro de Atacama and its surrounding areas, including and the southern area of country into Patagonia, are operating normally and have not been negatively affected. Regions including O'Higgins, Maule, Biobío, Araucanía, Los Ríos, Los Lagos and Chilean Patagonia, location of Torres del Paine National Park, are fully operational.

Chile’s capital city of Santiago, and its surrounding areas, including Valparaíso and wine regions, are operating normally and were not affected.

Regarding the Adventure Travel World Summit (ATWS) to be held in Puerto Varas, October 5 to 9, will proceed as scheduled. The Regional Tourism Board in Los Lagos, which includes Puerto Varas, reports infrastructure and tourism activities are operating normally.

Airports throughout the country, including Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport in Santiago, are operating normally. The main land routes connecting the country are operating normally. Sections that comprise the region of Coquimbo are passable but with caution, officials said.

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