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Radio News: False EAS tsunami warning in Alaska

May 15, 2018 10:50 pm
Radio World reports that another misfire of the Emergency Alert System led to another "War of the Worlds"-like listener scenario last week in Alaska. Travis Neff was driving to work, listening to a story about North Korea on NPR, he told the Daily News in an email. “At that very moment the alert system began. I was dumbfounded. It was such a macabre timing, so I was poised waiting to hear that it was 'just a test' and that never occurred.” A routine tsunami test message was issued May 11 by the National Tsunami Warning Center, but may have been partially cut off. The Anchorage Daily News said TV and radio broadcasts at 7 a.m. sent out what seemed to be a tsunami warning for the West Coast of North America and Hawaii. Chris Popham with the National Tsunami Warning Center said, “We sent out the same test message we’ve sent for decades: ‘This is a communications test.’ We saturate it with ‘test.’ How that got interpreted as any sort of warning or advisory, I can’t say.” The signal only went out over the Emergency Alert System, not through channels operated by the National Weather Service, not over the Wireless Emergency Alert system to cellphones, and not on NOAA Weather Radio. There weren't sirens going off along Alaska's coast either.
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