Did anyone else know that Japan’s Meteorological Agency issued an earthquake warning measuring 7 out of a possible 7 on the scale (Richter 9) but then there was no earthquake? I didn’t have a clue this happened last night. Apparently, thousands of people began to panic, networks became jammed, bullet trains stopped service and 40 million people living in Tokyo were inconvenienced, and all the Japan’s meteorological agency can say is “sorry?” Maybe it was a cyber attack on Japan’s meteorological office’s systems?
Source RT News
Japan comes to standstill after official agency issues false 9.1 earthquake warning
August 1, 2016
This photo illustration shows people with their smartphones showing an erroneous mega-earthquake alert with a magnitude of 9.1 on the Richter scale, and an intensity of 7 out of 7 on the Japanese scale, for Tokyo Bay on August 1, 2016. AFP
Trains ground to a halt, a mobile network became jammed, and thousands of citizens began to panic as Japan’s meteorological agency sent an alarm that a massive earthquake was about to strike the capital Kanto Region, home to more than 40 million people.
The warning was issued at 5:09pm local time on Monday, and quickly relayed to mobile apps that warned millions of Tokyo residents about an earthquake measuring 7 out of 7 on the scale used within the country – equivalent to 9.1 on the Richter scale, and as bad or worse than the Tohoku disaster of 2011.
Bullet trains began to stop services, in accordance with regulations, and NTT Docomo, the country’s largest mobile provider, reported that for 15 minutes the network was overloaded and went down.
But then – nothing happened.
“The quake that had been predicted has not taken place. It’s an error on our part. We sincerely apologize,” said Japan’s Meteorological Agency.
The organization said that it was the biggest false alarm since the current modern warning system was introduced back in 2007, and said the erroneous reading was produced by electrical noise. Interference from electrical currents disturbing the sensor or cable is a frequent cause of false alarms in early-warning systems, though equipment is usually designed to filter out the noise.
The agency said it warned most apps about the false positive, and they were able to cancel the alert in time, but one major app, Yurekuru, still sent out the alert.
Social media was quickly filled with reactions, from relief, to confusion to anger at officials and app developers.
“When I saw the Yurekuru app screen, I prepared to die,” read one tweet.