Just months after Hawaiian officials sent an 'ICBM Launch' false alert, sparking panic among citizens; The National Weather Service issued a 'Tsunami Warning' this morning, leaving Alaskans confused until the false alarm messages were sent out.
As BNO News reports, the incident happened just after 7 a.m. local time when a message from the Emergency Alert System appeared on TV channels in Alaska, advising that a tsunami warning was in effect.
“The National Weather Service has issued a TSUNAMI WARNING for the following counties or areas: Alaska, at 7:02 AM on May 11, 2018,” the message said.
The alert caused confusion among local residents. Jennifer Williams, the news director for KSRM, said the radio station was receiving calls from residents to ask about the warning.
There is no Tsunami Warning currently for Alaska and/or the West Coast. We issued a routine communications test message at 7am AKST that has been misinterpreted. We are investigating this issue. Repeat: There is NO Tsunami Warning— NWS Tsunami Alerts (@NWS_NTWC) May 11, 2018
The mistake happened during an internal test to determine transmission times for the dissemination of tsunami warnings, according to the National Tsunami Warning Center. “We are investigating this issue,” the center said.
KTVA reports that the Alaska State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) says they are working with the Emergency Alert System vendor and the Tsunami Warning System partners to identify why a test message was transmitted as a warning event.
Friday’s false alert did not affect the entire warning system. The warning was not sent to mobile phones in Alaska and tsunami warning sirens were not activated. As a reminder, in February, a tsunami warning was accidentally sent through third parties to a number of people along the U.S. East Coast.