clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Some New Yorkers may have woken up to erroneous text alerts about a tsunami warning

A test at the National Weather Service appears to have gone awry.

New York City skyline Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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.”

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