The Tsunami Warning That Wasn't

posted by Mason - 

How many people woke up this morning, checked their phones, and saw that surprising alert for a Tsunami Warning? That is not your typical weather warning for the Gulf Coast. Still, a tsunami is serious business -- as witnessed by the horrific 2004 earthquake and tsunami that took more than 200,000 lives.

My first thought was simply to wonder if there had been another big earthquake in Mexico to cause such a life-threatening event. Because even though we're not in earthquake country, I would think we could have tsunamis here, thanks to earthquakes in other part of our wider Gulf of Mexico region. 

Turns out it was just a test, and for everyone who actually took the time to read the warning, it was spelled out plainly that it wasn't the real deal. 

So no harm, no foul. And certainly nothing at all like the false missile alert in Hawaii from a few weeks ago. That warning said a missile strike was imminent. At least this tsunami warning said" test." 

Still, it was a mistake that the National Weather Service would prefer doesn't happen again.

The National Weather Service said it was a routine test that was transmitted by "at least one private company" but not by the actual National Weather Service. Meanwhile, Accuweather is blaming the government agency, saying they mistakenly put a code into the test which made it route automatically as an alert. Accuweather says they've warned the weather service about this issue "for years." In any event, everyone seems to be deflecting responsibility to others. 

Ultimately, the information contained within the body of the warning was correct: it was only a test. All we had to do was read the message.

And good question: what would we do if there was actually a tsunami?

Mason

Mason

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