(WTNH) — The National Weather Service conducts routine tsunami alert warnings in the form of text messages, website banners, and app push alerts on a monthly basis to ensure that the technology is working properly. These systems are routinely tested to be able to warn the public in case a natural disaster is imminent.
Those warnings are pushed through to a third party app, called AccuWeather, which then distributes them to the public. Typically, those tests are not distributed to the public, and are carefully labeled with “TEST” as to not to create panic.
On Tuesday morning around 8:30 a.m., social media was a buzz after many people in Connecticut received a weather text on their phone which looked as though it came from WTNH News 8. The weather alert system which powers the News 8 weather text system, is published by the National Weather Service through a partnership with the AccuWeather app, and not through our team of Storm Team 8 meteorologists.
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This false tsunami warning also affected the East Coast as well as parts of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. A few weeks ago, residents in Hawaii were set into panic mode with a false emergency alert warning of an incoming missile.
The National Weather Service is working on an investigation as to how this happened.