Washington, D.C. (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.
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.
Officials said it appeared to be an issue with the popular Accuweather app. Accuweather didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.
The National Weather Service Tsunami Warning this morning was a TEST. No Tsunami warning is in effect for the East Coast of the U.S.— AccuWeather (@accuweather) February 6, 2018
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 a 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.
***THERE IS NO TSUNAMI WARNING***— NWS New York NY (@NWSNewYorkNY) February 6, 2018
A Tsunami Test was conducted earlier this morning, that did have TEST in the message. We are currently trying to find out how a message went out as a warning. We will update you when we find out more.
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.
A botched tsunami test message went out today on the East Coast as an actual tsunami warning. This comes on same day as House Homeland Security Cmte holds hrng on emergency warning system following debacle in Hawaii a few weeks ago— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) February 6, 2018