National Weather Service: East Coast tsunami warning was false alarm

It was only a drill

By Carianne Luter - Social Media Producer, Cole Pepper - Sports anchor/reporter, mark collins

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A routine National Weather Service test on Tuesday resulted in a false push notification to mobile phones about a tsunami warning, giving jolt to many residents on the East Coast.

Some users of the weather app Accuweather received an alert of a tsunami warning. Users in coastal Georgia, Ponte Vedra, even in Tallahassee reported to News4Jax that they received the warning.

According to officials in Glynn County, Georgia, "While Accuweather was conducting a drill with their app this morning they mistakenly sent out a tsunami warning for Coastal Georgia. There is no tsunami warning at this time. While the source is cited as the National Weather Service Office in Jacksonville, this was simply a drill and was not meant to be sent to the public. There is no reason to be alarmed about a tsunami."

Accuweather tweeted the following message:

The mistaken alert follows an alert of a missile attack in Hawaii that was mistakenly sent during a drill in January

Twitter, as usual, took off: 

While Pacific tsunamis grab headlines for size, the Atlantic can see deadly tsunam's.

In 1946 a magnitude 8.1 earthquake devastated the Dominican Republic, extended into Haiti, and shook many other islands. This was one of the strongest earthquakes ever reported in the Caribbean killing 1,790 people in the villages around Matancitas, Dominican Republic.

Although the tsunami was 8 feet high it pushed about a mile inland. Waves were also recorded with travel times of 2 hours 7 minutes after the earthquake at Bermuda, 3:59 at Daytona Beach, and 4:49 at Atlantic City, New Jersey. 

Tsunamis generated by underwater mud slides are a threat along Florida's east coast. Small earthquakes could disturb mud clinging to a steep sloape along the Bahama Bank offshaore Miami.

A study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, showed that earthquakes could generate tsunamis by triggering a submarine landslide along the western slope  that dips off the Bahamas archipelago.

It is a small but real risk, especailly for South Florida and a great risk in Cuba. If the landslide took place closer to Miami on Great Bahama Bank, tsunamis could range impact Cuba to the Keys to Miami Beach. If the landslide took place north of Grand Bahama Ialand on the Little Bahama Bank, the risk area would extend up the Florida coast to southern St. Lucie County.