Another Alert Misfire: Alaska Warned of Tsunami

State officials are trying to figure out what went wrong
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 11, 2018 5:23 PM CDT
Updated May 11, 2018 5:55 PM CDT
Accidental Tsunami Warning Startles Alaskans
No tsunami in sight. A bald eagle rests on a perch at Eagle Beach State Recreation Area in Juneau, Alaska.   (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)

It's not as bad as what happened to people in Hawaii, but it wasn't too pleasant, either. Residents of Alaska got an alert Friday morning on their TVs and radios that a tsunami threatened pretty much the entire state. As it turns out, the alert went out in error, reports the Alaska Dispatch News. State officials are still trying to figure out what happened, but it appears that the state's alert system broadcast what was supposed to be an internal test. One theory is that something went wrong with the coding as the test got passed along the computer chain from the National Tsunami Warning Center.

"I couldn't find any earthquakes and was really perplexed," says one resident of Anchorage, describing herself as more confused than alarmed upon hearing the 7am warning. The recorded message, about two minutes long, did apparently make a brief reference to a "test message," but only at the very end, reports the AP. However, in some places, the message ended even before that qualification. Whether all this is a human or computer error remains to be seen. (In Hawaii, the errant missile warning required just two clicks.)

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