False alarm: BMKG says text blast warning about 8.5-magnitude quake and tsunami caused by system error

Screengrab of the SMS blast.
Screengrab of the SMS blast.

If you happen to receive an early tsunami warning text from the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) this morning, you can breathe a sigh of relief as the agency has confirmed that the SMS blast was caused by a system error.

The message, sent from BMKG and the Ministry of Information and Communications (Kominfo), was blasted to Indonesian phones at around 10:36am, containing information about an early tsunami warning following a 8.5-magnitude earthquake on June 4, 2021 for East Java, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), Central Java, Bali, and East Nusa Tenggara (NTT). 

Note that we’re not even in June 2021 yet.

In a statement issued this afternoon, BMKG has clarified that the information in the text is false. 

“There was an error in the system for sending earthquake information and tsunami early warnings through the SMS channel,” the statement said, adding that a clarification was immediately sent through the channel as a follow-up. 

 

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Both BMKG and Kominfo have launched an investigation to determine the cause of the error. The agency also said the public should remain calm.

“The circulating information (in the false text message) is not a prediction of an earthquake that may occur in the near future, because until this moment there is not one technology that can precisely and accurately predict when, where, and how strong an earthquake will occur,” BMKG said.

Read more news and updates from Bali here.

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