Forget that tsunami warning, National Weather Service says it was a test

Some people in Charleston get actual tsunami warning during test, NWS says

Did you get a tsunami warning? Don't panic, it's just a test

A tsunami alert sparked panic across the United States after a test warning was sent to thousands of phones in error.

The error seems to have been the fault of AccuWeather, as the company's app apparently flagged the routine monthly warning as genuine, sending it out to users with notifications enabled. When the tsunami test is conducted, it should not go out as an outlook, watch, warning or advisory.

Other images showed language clarifying that the push notifications were sent out as a test could be seen once the notification was opened. People in NY also reportedly received the warning, as did people in Maine. The National Weather Service tells NPR that it was a "test message" released by at least one private company as an official warning. A Tsunami Warning is not in effect.

"We understand the reason for test messages, but we feel that NWS consider failsafe measures for the future to prevent such an occurrence", AccuWeather CEO Barry Myers wrote to the weather service, adding the system is "less than flawless". "We will update you when we find out more".

The false alarm came less than a month after a ballistic missile urgent alert was accidentally sent in Hawaii.

A Hawaii state employee mistakenly sent an alert warning of a ballistic missile attack on January 13.


Several Accuweather users reported receiving the alert.

Meteorologist Hendricus Lulofs said there was a glitch Tuesday during a routine test.

The National Weather Service in Charleston, South Carolina, added: "A Tsunami Warning is not in effect".

A hearing took place on Capitol Hill to make sure emergency alerts are effective and reliable.

A National Weather service spokeswoman could not immediately say what went wrong, but the agency tweeted that it is investigating.

Latest News