A test of Alaska’s tsunami warning system Wednesday morning did not go out on all media outlets.The test message was scheduled for Wednesday morning on NOAA weather radio, television and radio in Southeast Alaska, Kodiak, the Kenai Pennisula along with the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands. In parts of Southeast Alaska the warning message was not broadcast on radio stations.
In Petersburg, KFSK broadcast a local test message but did not receive the statewide test that was expected.
“We’ve heard that in the Petersburg Wrangell area that the code didn’t go out as planned,” said Jeremy Zidek, a public information officer with the state’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. “For the rest of the state we don’t have a whole lot of reports of problems but we may get new additional information as the day goes on.”
Zidek said the annual exercise find problems with emergency message systems every year. He said in this case a computer server that distributes the test message was using an old code, instead of an updated code, to relay the information to the radio stations.
“You know this is precisely why we test the system to find these problems, make changes and make the system work as designed,” he said.
The test did go out through emergency phone calls to Petersburg residents. And it was broadcast to other parts of the state as planned. The state and National Weather Service sends out emergency alerts over multiple notification systems, including an automated phone system, emails, texts and the emergency alert system.
Officials are asking for feedback on the test online.