MIAMI (AP) — A routine National Weather Service test on Tuesday resulted in a false push notification to mobile phones about a tsunami warning, giving jolt to many residents on the East Coast.
904AM: A Tsunami Warning was mistakenly sent by an app. There is no Tsunami Warning in effect. It was just a Tsunami test message.
— NWS Miami (@NWSMiami) February 6, 2018
A glitch meant some people received what looked like an actual warning, NWS meteorologist Hendricus Lulofs said. The National Weather Service is trying to sort what went wrong, he said.
— NWS (@NWS) February 6, 2018
Officials said it appeared to be an issue with the popular Accuweather app. Accuweather didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.
Jeremy DaRos, of Portland, Maine, said the alert made him “jump” because he lives a stone’s throw from the water and was aware of recent spate of small earthquakes that made the alert seem plausible.
“Looking out the window and seeing the ocean puts you in a different frame of mind when you get a tsunami warning,” he said. He said that after clicking on the push notification for details he realized it was just a test.
This is the latest in a spate of false alarms in the past month.
A Hawaii state employee mistakenly sent an alert warning of a ballistic missile attack on Jan. 13. And, a malfunction triggered sirens at a North Carolina nuclear power plant on Jan. 19.
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