A false tsunami warning was issued for much of the U.S. East Coast Tuesday morning providing some residents with a moment of panic – the warning however, was a nothing more than a routine test.
The U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) conducted a test around 8:30 a.m. ET resulting in many residents receiving an alert on their mobile phones via a push notification through weather apps.
Social media users shared screenshots of their phones with a notification from the popular Accuweather app, showing what appeared to look like an actual warning.
The weather app clarified on Twitter the warning was nothing more than a test.
“The National Weather Service Tsunami Warning this morning was a TEST. No Tsunami warning is in effect for the East Coast of the U.S.,” Accuweather tweeted.
However, the notification sent did not mention “test” in the alert.
The NWS Charleston, S.C., branch said it received reports that some people got warnings of an actual tsunami.
The NWS clarified that there was no threat to the U.S.
“There is NO current Tsunami Warning, Advisory, Watch, or Threat for the U.S. Please refer to http://tsunami.gov and @NWS_NTWC for up to date information,” the agency tweeted.
A Portland, Me., resident told the Associated Press the alert made him “jump” because he lives not too far from shore.
“Looking out the window and seeing the ocean puts you in a different frame of mind when you get a tsunami warning,” he said. He added that after clicking on the push notification for details he realized it was just a test.
The NWS New York division said its test alert did include that fact this morning’s exercise was a drill.
“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,” the agency tweeted.
The tsunami test comes a less than month after Hawaii caused panic for its citizens by triggering a false emergency alert of an incoming missile.
Hawaii’s emergency management department sent a mistaken warning to mobile phones across the state of a North Korean missile attack, triggering panic for nearly 40 minutes.
The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency fired the employee after the incident.
–with a file from the Associated Press.