Peru is creating a tsunami-warning system to help protect 1.6 million residents who live along the South American country's Pacific coast.

President Alan Garcia has ordered funding by decree to create an alarm network so Peruvians can seek high ground in the event of a tsunami.

The devastating Feb. 27 earthquake in neighboring Chile highlighted the need for such an alert system in Peru. The 8.8-magnitude earthquake and tsunami killed more than 450 people.

Peru's last major earthquake on Aug. 15 was a magnitude-8 tremor that killed about 500 people in the southern city of Pisco and the surrounding area.

The decree was published Friday and dedicates about $750,000 this year to the tsunami project.