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Oops… No Tsunami After All

A tsunami warning which was automatically sent to television and radio stations throughout Alaska Monday morning was issued in error, the National Weather Service said.

"It went out by mistake, there is no danger of tsunami anywhere," said K.B. Bennekamper, a meteorologist in the service' Anchorage forecast office.

The message, which went directly from the weather service to Alaska broadcasters, only contained a tsunami warning header. If it were a real emergency, Bennekamper said meteorologists would have added actual text into the body of the message, outlining which areas of the state would have been covered by the warning.

The Weather Service later sent a correction.

Media outlets across the state were taken by surprise with the warning. Bennekamper said the weather service received phone calls from stations from Fairbanks to Juneau when the tsunami warning was not followed by any further information.

It was not immediately clear how the automatic warning was issued.

"We apologize," Bennekamper said. "If it's got to be a mistake, better this way than having a real event and not sending a warning."

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