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National Weather Service: Tsunami warning was just a test

Some people received notifications Tuesday morning of an impending tsunami threat, but closer examination of the message showed it was just a test, weather officials said.

“There are no tsunami warnings in effect at the current time,” the National Weather Service said in a special statement issued at 9:21 a.m., after it realized some people panicked and thought an actual tsunami could be headed for the United States. 

According to the National Weather Service, the U.S. Tsunami Warning System in Palmer, Alaska issued a monthly tsunami warning test at 8:28 a.m. “We have been notified that some users received this TEST message as an actual tsunami warning,” one Tweet from the NWS said.

The message was sent to people on Long Island, including the North and South Forks, those along the East Coast, the Gulf, and the Caribbean.

“We are currently trying to find out how a message went out as a warning,” the NWS said in another message.

Joe Pollina, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Upton, said his office on Long Island was aware of the mix-up, but that the word “test” was in the first line of the message. The Upton office does not send out such messages, but  just acknowledges them, he said.

He said his office was receiving a lot of comments on social media about the test.

This tsunami warning comes after an employee at the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency mistakenly sent a missile alert on behalf of the state last month.

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