False Tsunami Warning Sent to East Coast, Gulf Coast, Caribbean Residents

Feb 6, 2018

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This morning, February 6, several people received a message on their phones alerting them of a tsunami warning. For all residents on the East and Gulf coasts and the Caribbean, fear not: The message was supposed to be a test and was sent in error.

People are pointing the finger at Accuweather, a weather forecasting service, because the tsunami alert was sent via the app. Accuweather has released a statement detailing how the information was not sent out as a test as it was originally intended.

There is NO current Tsunami Warning, Advisory, Watch, or Threat for the U.S.
Please refer to https://t.co/pXpCFxXtaU and @NWS_NTWC for up to date information.

— NWS (@NWS) February 6, 2018

The National Weather Service, which is currently investigating how the message was sent in error, told NBC News: “The test message was released by at least one private sector company as an official Tsunami Warning, resulting in widespread reports of tsunami warnings received via phones and other media across the East Coast, Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean. We’re currently looking into why the test message was communicated as an actual tsunami warning, and will provide more information as soon as we have it,” the NWS said.


It’s unclear how many people received the warning, although media outlets across the country have reported on the false warning. This is a second example in 2018 that an incorrect text message was sent out; in January, Hawaii residents received a text that a ballistic missile was inbound for the island state.

Feature photo by @KateMeredithP

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