A heart-stopping emergency alert was accidentally sent to smart phones across the eastern seaboard Tuesday morning, warning unsuspecting civilians of an impending tsunami from Florida to Boston, reports Fox News.
A spokesperson for the National Weather Service confirmed the “glitch” to the Associated Press, saying the agency was struggling to get to the bottom of the panic-inducing incident.
“The National Tsunami Warning Center did NOT issue a tsunami Warning, Watch, or Advisory for any part of the United States or Canada this morning,” tweeted the NWS.
The National Tsunami Warning Center did NOT issue a tsunami Warning, Watch, or Advisory for any part of the United States or Canada this morning.
— NWS Tsunami Alerts (@NWS_NTWC) February 6, 2018
Initial reports suggest users with certain mobile apps -such as Accuweather- received what appeared to be an “actual warning” of an impending Tsunami, not a mere test of the weather service’s emergency preparedness.
Accuweather eventually corrected the false alarm on twitter, writing, “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.”
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 (@accuweather) February 6, 2018
The incident echos a similar accident weeks ago, when Hawaii’s Office of Emergency Management sent an accidental ballistic missile warning to thousands of residents and tourists; warning them of an impending North Korean nuclear strike.
OFF TARGET: US Missile DEFENSE FAILS Over Hawaii
An important test of the nation’s anti-ballistic missile defense system totally failed in the skies over Hawaii early Wednesday, raising alarm bells throughout the Pentagon on the country’s ability to defend itself in the face of a pre-emptive North Korean nuclear strike.
According to Defense News, US military officials were alarmingly quiet following the test of America’s anti-ballistic missile system, refusing to confirm that the interception ultimately failed; the second such failure this year.
“The Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Navy sailors manning the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense Test Complex (AAMDTC) conducted a live-fire missile flight test using a Standard-Missile (SM)-3 Block IIA missile launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kauai, Hawaii, Wednesday morning,” said a spokesperson for the US Missile Defense Agency.
However, various news outlets reported that the tests ultimately came up short, allowing the “missile” to bypass the system and reach its intended target.
“Officials: US missile defense test failed in Hawaii early Weds. Pentagon not publicly acknowledging key ballistic missile defense test failure & officials tell @barbarastarrcnn there is a decision to not talk about it, in part because of sensitivities surrounding North Korea,” wrote CNN’s international correspondent on social media.
Officials: US missile defense test failed in Hawaii early Weds. Pentagon not publicly acknowledging key ballistic missile defense test failure & officials tell @barbarastarrcnn there is a decision to not talk about it, in part because of sensitivities surrounding North Korea.
— Will Ripley (@willripleyCNN) January 31, 2018
WHOOPS! Hawaiian Official Who Sent Missile Warning THOUGHT NUKE ATTACK Was Imminent
A civil worker in Hawaii who fired-off an unnecessary missile warning earlier this month actually thought a nuclear attack on the island was imminent; misreading test instructions left the night before and causing a state-wide panic as residents and tourists rushed for cover.
According to the New York Times, the state employee who sent the false alert on January 13th “issued the message intentionally” after he misunderstood instructions from the evening supervisor and thought a North Korean nuclear missile strike was imminent.
While the incident had been described by state officials as an “accident” after an employee “pressed the wrong button,” the new information raises serious questions over how missile warnings are approved and who has the authority to alert the public.
According to a written statement from the worker, other state employees had advanced warning of the missile test but had failed to inform the technician charged with engaging the alert system.
“When disaster strikes, it’s essential that Americans in harm’s way get reliable information so that they can stay safe and protect their loved ones,” said the Commission chairman in charge of the investigation. “People shouldn’t miss out on potentially lifesaving information just because the alert system’s current brush stroke is too broad.”