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Residents on the East Coast, Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean had a startling start to their Tuesday morning after the National Weather Service accidentally sent out a tsunami warning push notification to mobile phones.The foreboding message was a mistake during a regularly scheduled test from the National Tsunami Center, the National Weather Service said in a statement to TIME.“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,” the NWS said.
“We’re currently looking into why the test message was communicated as an actual tsunami warning,” the statement said.The warning was sent at around 8:30 a.m. EST Tuesday. Regional agencies scrambled to clarify the mistake, sending out a slew of messages to make it as clear as possible that the warning was made in error.“NO current Tsunami Warning, Advisory, Watch, or Threat for the U.S. East Coast,” the NWS’s Eastern Region tweeted Tuesday morning.“Repeat, a Tsunami Warning is NOT in effect,” tweeted the NWS for Key West.“Please note there is NO TSUNAMI THREAT FOR New England,” tweeted the NWS for Boston.A monthly Tsunami Warning TEST was issued at 828 am EST by @NWS_NTWC. We have been notified that some users received this TEST message as an actual Tsunami Warning. A Tsunami Warning is NOT in effect. Repeat, a Tsunami Warning is NOT in effect. #FLwx #FLKeys #KeyWest— NWS Key West (@NWSKeyWest) February 6, 2018We have been receiving reports that an erroneous tsunami alert across New England. Please note there is NO TSUNAMI THREAT FOR New England.— NWS Boston (@NWSBoston) February 6, 2018The NWS is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Some recipients of the message posted images of it on social media, with some showing the alert in the AccuWeather app.Well this was a terrifying thirty seconds or so, seeing a tsunami warning alert in #NYC, until realizing it's a test. pic.twitter.com/FZ6P3zVOFz— Gaurav Sabnis (@gauravsabnis) February 6, 2018I’m in New York and I got a Tsunami warning sent to my phone, so how’s YOUR Tuesday going?— Kami Mattioli (@Kami) February 6, 2018Have the @breakingweather app and just got a Tsunami Warning notification? Social media users across the country are getting a scare from this test warning pic.twitter.com/r9wBpUrsvz— Kevin Dupuy WWL-TV (@TheWebKevin) February 6, 2018Other images showed language clarifying that the push notifications were sent out as a test could be seen once the notification was opened.Hey @accuweather — next time you have a tsunami warning test — especially in coastal areas — you might want to lead with the word “test” in your alerts.. not bury it inside. #tsunami #AccuWeather #abc7ny pic.twitter.com/nPFJ9dC59F— Anthony Hazell (@anthonyhazell) February 6, 2018A representative from AccuWeather did not respond immediately to a request for comment.While startling for some, the mistake Tuesday morning did not appear to have the same impact as a more severe one did in Hawaii last month when an emergency alert warning of a ballistic missile threat was mistakenly sent to residents.The all-caps message, which told people to “SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER” and that “THIS IS NOT A DRILL,” sparked panic and chaos on the tropical islands as residents called their loved ones and sought shelter. That mistake was not corrected until 38 minutes later.On the West Coast in January, residents were correctly issued tsunami warnings following an earthquake in the Gulf of Alaska. Officials later canceled the warnings after it was downgraded hours after the earthquake.Media
{{picture}} The crew of USCG Station Key West assisted a mariner in a 23-foot Sea Pro vessel taking on water in the vicinity of #MallorySquare near #KeyWest. A #goodSamaritan vessel notified the #USCG about the distressed vessel & the station crew got underway to quickly render assista…