A test of the U.S. National Weather Service’s system to warn Americans about tsunamis appeared to go awry this morning, as residents in states like New York erroneously received alerts that the east coast might be in harm’s way.
At about 8:30 am ET, NWS officials said it sought to complete a monthly test of its tsunami warning system — with an alert that had the word “test” in its message — yet “some users received this test message as an actual tsunami warning.”
A monthly Tsunami Warning test was issued around 830 am by @NWS_NTWC . We have been notified that some users received this test message as an actual Tsunami Warning. A Tsunami Warning is not in effect. Repeat, a Tsunami Warning is not in effect #mewx— NWS Caribou (@NWSCaribou) February 6, 2018
***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.
The message appears to have been conveyed through third-party apps, perhaps including Accuweather, not the U.S. government’s wireless and broadcast emergency alert systems. A test of those alerts failed in January, after Hawaii officials accidentally warned residents about an incoming ballistic missile, sparking widespread panic — and, later, a federal investigation.
Today, though, Twitter users around the country once again expressed confusion and outrage about the NWS mishap, while the weather service sought to clarify in a series of tweets that there was no tsunami threatening the east coast.
A spokeswoman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which houses NWS, did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday, nor did a spokesperson for Accuweather.
A spokesman for the FCC, meanwhile, said the agency is looking into the matter.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.