PTWC, FBI investigating false tsunami alert over international system

Pacific Tsunami Warning Center debunked a false alert Tuesday.
Pacific Tsunami Warning Center debunked a false alert Tuesday.(HNN File (custom credit))
Updated: May. 21, 2019 at 9:47 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) -The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center is investigating a false tsunami alert that startled some Tuesday.

Although it didn’t cause widespread panic, the rumor caught the attention of the agency and was enough for them to issue a correction via twitter.

The alert was visible to some on a global messaging system.

“The circuit that we’re talking about is what we call the Global Telecommunications System. It’s an international telecommunications system. Basically every single country in the world has access to it,” Victor Sardina of Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.

Their correction tweet read, “There is a fake #tsunami message in circulation for a non-existent earthquake in Japan. There is no tsunami threat in effect. #PTWC is investigating.”

Officials aren’t exactly sure what happened, but a couple theories are on the table.

“To get illegal access, you will have to break into the system from the outside. Or there may be an insider that’s not supposed to be doing that,” Sardina said.

It’s unclear who is behind the hoax and the FBI is investigating.

So far, they are convinced it’s not a ransomware attack.

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