On the East Coast, people received a warning about an upcoming tsunami that was not happening. AccuWeather apps were supposed do a routine National Weather Service test but instead sent out a push notification about a fake tsunami due to hit the East Coast.
A mistake caused the test to be labeled genuine.
Just like the warning that was sent out in Hawaii, this alert was supposed to be a test. Instead, notifications went out to users who woke up to tsunami warnings from the AccuWeather app. Tsunami test are carried out every month.
There were problems with this month's test which led to false alarm being sent out users with AccuWeather app. False alarms were sent to residents across the East Coast, in New England, and the South — Houston, New Orleans, Charlotte, and Charleston.
Just got a Tsunami Warning for New York, but apparently it’s just a test. Thank you for the morning panic attack, @accuweather! pic.twitter.com/0Be0helrbw— Katia Del Negro (@KatiaDelNegro) February 6, 2018
AccuWeather went to blame the whole situation on the NWS. In a statement about the entire situation, AccuWeather says that the blame falls on the NWS because the test was miscoded as a real warning. It says that the company has the most sophisticated system for passing on tsunami warnings, and even though the word TEST appeared on the header, computers read the codes as a real warning.
"AccuWeather was correct in reading the mistaken NWS codes embedded in the warning. The responsibility is on the NWS to properly and consistently code the messages, for only they know if the message is correct or not," said the statement by AccuWeather.
NWS didn't place the blame on AccuWeather, it instead said that it is investigating what happened during the false alarm. In a tweet, the New York branch of the NWS clarified its position.
"***THERE IS NO TSUNAMI WARNING***
"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," NWS New York said in the tweet.
While it is unlikely that the East Coast will be in danger of a tsunami anytime soon. The consequences could be catastrophic due to the amount of cities and people living on the coast. The West Coast is more likely to be in danger because of the amount of earthquakes that occur in the region. The closest region that represents danger to the East Coast is if an earthquake happened near Puerto Rico, it would take hours to reach the East Coast.
This is the second false warning of impending danger in the United States in a couple of months. Last month, a false missile attack was sent to people in Hawaii, in almost the same situation a test was perceived to be a real threat.
A worker for the emergency broadcast system in Hawaii mistook a test for a threat. Even though the instructions said it was a test, the worker thought that an attack was imminent. No other details regarding the missile test were released, not even the worker's name.