East Coast Rattled by Fake Tsunami Warning

National Weather Service says issue may have been AccuWeather app glitch
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 6, 2018 10:16 AM CST
Some people on the East Coast got a push alert on their phones Tuesday about a tsunami warning, but the National Weather Service says it was just a test. Meteorologist Hendricus Lulofs said there was...   (AP Photo/Jeremy DaRos)

(Newser) – It's deja vu all over again, with the fear based in the Atlantic, not the Pacific, this time. A routine National Weather Service test on Tuesday resulted in a false push notification to mobile phones about a tsunami warning, giving a jolt to many residents on the East Coast around 8:30am, reports Gizmodo. A glitch meant some people with the AccuWeather app installed received what looked like an actual warning, NWS meteorologist Hendricus Lulofs said. The Verge cites the NWS' Miami branch in reporting these tests happen once a month, and the NWS is investigating what went awry in this case.

AccuWeather didn't immediately return a call seeking comment, reports the AP, and it didn't elaborate on Twitter beyond clarifying the NWS alert was a test. The Herald-Tribune has the copy of the message, which begins ominously but clearly contains test-related language: "Tsunami Warning Tsunami Warning in effect until 9:28 AM EST. Source: U.S. National Weather Service ...THIS_MESSAGE_IS_FOR_TEST_PURPOSES_ONLY... THIS IS A TEST TO DETERMINE TRANSMISSION TIMES INVOLVED IN THE DISSEMINATION OF TSUNAMI INFORMATION..." The Verge notes the alert went to locations spanning from Portland, Maine, to Houston.

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