A tsunami warning test done at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday for some spots on the East Coast was apparently mistaken by some as the real thing.
The National Weather Service based in Newport/Morehead City issued a tweet shortly after 9 a.m. Tuesday assuring coastal residents in Virginia and North Carolina that a massive tidal wave was not headed their way. The mistaken warnings have been reported from New England to Miami.
“We have been notified that some users received this test message as an actual Tsunami Warning. A Tsunami Warning is not in effect. Repeat, a Tsunami Warning is not in effect,” said a tweet from the weather service office based in Newport/Morehead City.
The National Weather Service added a clarification later that explained “some third party (phone) applications picked up the monthly test as a warning.”
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Some areas of the coast were told the wave could hit within an hour (by 9:28 a.m.).
“I freaked out, won’t lie!” said Britnee St. Clair of Jacksonville, N.C., in a tweet. “I received a warning, had a mini heart attack...Opened it and started trying to figure it out to find it was a test!”
“Mass hysteria here in Charleston,” tweeted a nurse in South Carolina.
“So was this an accident or should I go buy a boat within the next twenty minutes?” Tim Lennox of Quincy, Massachusetts, tweeted after getting the warning.
Some media outlets are reporting the National Weather Service in Boston said the warnings were sent to some mobile devices in error. Thousands received the alert and it did not include the fact that it was a test, reported TV station PIX11 in New York.
The tweet comes just weeks after an emergency missile warning in Hawaii was also mistaken at the real thing, creating a panic that lasted for about a half hour.