Weather Service plans to investigate fake alert

HONOLULU (AP) — The National Weather Service plans to investigate a fake threat that was circulated about an earthquake in Japan and a subsequent tsunami.

“It was fabricated, it was not a real message and there was no earthquake in Japan,” said Chip McCreery, director of Pacific Tsunami Warning Center on Oahu, which is 0operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The bogus message went out after 4 p.m. Tuesday on a global telecommunications system used by the World Meteorological Organization based in Switzerland.

The message said a magnitude 8.0 earthquake occurred in Japan near Nagasaki, although the coordinates given were not accurate.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center received inquiries from global weather agencies and tsunami monitoring stations. Officials provided assurances there was no earthquake or tsunami threat, with additional messages posted on social media.

Unlike the false ballistic missile threat issued to cellphones in Hawaii last year, the tsunami warning was only shared on a closed communication channel.