This morning around 8:32 a.m. an alert went out over an AccuWeather app to cell phones from the Gulf Coast to Maine — “Severe Weather Alert: Tsunami Warning … in Effect Until 9:48 AM ET. ” Fortunately, no massive wave was inbound for the East Coast.
The alert was a test by the National Weather Service which somehow was picked up by the AccuWeather app. Verge reports that the alert — which was meant as a test of transmission times for actual alerts — was apparently flagged as a genuine alert by the AccuWeather app, causing users with notifications enabled to wake up to a tsunami warning this morning. According to the NWS’s Miami branch, the tsunami test is one that is conducted monthly, but apparently, something went wrong this month that triggered the alerts for AccuWeather users. The false alarm was sent to residents across the East Coast and some parts of the South, including Houston, New Orleans, Charlotte, Charleston, and the New England area.
Soon after the false alert the weather service’s Twitter account posted a message saying, “***THERE IS NO TSUNAMI WARNING***”.
At least it wasn’t incoming missiles. The mistake comes less than a month after a false alarm warning of an incoming ballistic attack in Hawaii was sent by a state Emergency Management Agency worker.