The Latest on a false tsunami warning for the East Coast, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean (all times local):

6:40 p.m.

The National Weather Service is rejecting a private forecasting company’s claim that it incorrectly coded a test message as a real tsunami warning.

AccuWeather says the weather service “miscoded” a test message as a real warning. Users of the popular AccuWeather app then got a false tsunami alert. The message was sent to users throughout the East Coast, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. The Weather Channel says its users also saw the bogus warning on the company’s mobile app and website.

Weather service spokeswoman Susan Buchanan says the agency’s investigation found the routine monthly test message was properly coded. She says the weather service is “working with private sector companies to determine why some systems did not recognize the coding.”


12:35 p.m.

A private forecasting company is blaming the National Weather Service for a false tsunami alert sent to users’ mobile phones Tuesday morning.

AccuWeather says the weather service “miscoded” a test message as a real warning. Users of the popular AccuWeather app then got a false tsunami alert. The message was sent to users throughout the East Coast, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean.

The State College, Pennsylvania-based company says the weather service has a responsibility to “properly and consistently code the messages, for only they know if the message is correct or not.”

The weather service has said it’s looking into why the test message was transmitted as a real alert. Weather service officials didn’t immediately respond to AccuWeather’s assertions.


12:05 p.m.

The National Weather Service says a private company took a routine test message and sent it to people’s phones as an official tsunami warning.

The National Tsunami Warning Center sent a test message around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday. Users of the popular AccuWeather app then got a false tsunami alert. The message was sent to users throughout the East Coast, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean.

The tsunami warning center is part of the National Weather Service, which says it’s investigating why the test message was sent as an official warning. The weather service says the false alert didn’t appear on any of its communication channels.

AccuWeather didn’t immediately return calls and emails seeking comment.


9:40 a.m.

Some people on the East Coast got a push alert on their phones about a tsunami warning, but the National Weather Service says it was just a test.

Meteorologist Hendricus Lulofs said there was a glitch Tuesday during a routine test. That meant some people received what looked like an actual warning on their phones. He says the National Weather Service is trying to sort what happened.

Officials said it appeared to be an issue with the popular AccuWeather app. AccuWeather didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.

Jeremy DaRos, of Portland, Maine, says the push from AccuWeather made him “jump,” because he lives a stone’s throw from the water. He said that after clicking


9:10 a.m.

Some people on the East Coast got a push alert on their phones about a tsunami warning, but the National Weather Service says it was just a test.

Meteorologist Hendricus Lulofs said there was a glitch Tuesday during a routine test. That meant users of some mobile apps received what looked like an actual warning.

He said the National Weather Service is trying to sort what happened.

National Weather Service offices in the region are using social media to get out the word that there’s no tsunami warning.

Author photo
The Associated Press
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.