National Weather Service: No East Coast tsunami warning

Cocoa Beach Florida.                       Mark Wilson

Cocoa Beach Florida. Mark Wilson

One day after that false warning of a coming tsunami rocked Americans along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, two of the principals at the center are engaged in a storm of finger-pointing.

For some, it wasn't until you opened the headline that it was clear the message was the result of a test.

On Tuesday morning, people across the US East Coast, Gulf of Mexico, and in the Caribbean got a frightening alert on their cellphones about a potential tsunami.

"AccuWeather has further reviewed recent National Weather Service statements related to the miscoded NWS tsunami warning of February 6, and stands by its original conclusion", the service used by more than 1 billion people worldwide said in an email. He said he realized it was just a test after clicking on the push notification for details.

The National Weather Service in Wakefield said they keep a good eye on their computer models, and also on screen looking for warnings.

Lynett was part of a team in 2009 that studied the chance that tsunamis could form in the Gulf of Mexico, and while they found there are properties that make it a possibility, he said they have not ever known it to happen. "As such, we process them with the utmost concern and deliver them promptly and automatically as soon as they're received by the government".

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".

Meanwhile he said, weather apps that misinterpreted the test as an actual event are not regulated, and need a better system of checks and balances. "We will continue to work with our partners to prevent this from occurring again". "The National Weather Service carried the warning itself on a page on its own website and it was not marked as a 'Test'".

Barry Meyers, AccuWeather's CEO, advised the NWS to change the way it issues test alert three years ago, the company said.

The alerts came the month after the state of Hawaii mistakenly warned residents of the islands of an inbound missile, sparking panic.

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