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False giant quake alert sent out; lightning may be cause

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29 Comments
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Soiled my pants for no reason, :(,,,,,

6 ( +7 / -1 )

My phone still has Yurekuru running and when that alarm went off I nearly had a heart attack with fear for my friends and loved ones... not a pleasant feeling at all. I can't imagine the panic it would have caused in Japan

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I got this Yurekuru warning on my iPhone in Tokyo, and wondered why I didn't feel any shaking... I checked some websites and found no reports of an earthquake, so assumed it was a glitch. A similar error happened before when I was on a crowded Chuo-sen train, and all the smartphones went crazy!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Glad it was a glitch and not the real thing

7 ( +8 / -1 )

We all know the system isn't 100% percent perfect. It's still much better then anywhere in the world, if there is a warning system at all.

Personally I prefer to get some false warnings, causing a delay, then a system that rules out all insecurities and in the end forgets to warn when it really comes....

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Just happened to be p̶l̶a̶y̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶a̶ ̶g̶a̶m̶e̶ checking work emails on my phone when Yurekuru went off... mag 9, Tokyo Bay.

I really thought my number was up so I quickly got a miniature whisky bottle out of the desk and downed it in one... then another.

Felt happy when I found out it was a false alarm.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

This could be a case of the system being hacked as a dry run for total confusion.

The powers that be would not want to admit to such a failure and therefore blame it on a lightning strike.

Sorry, Just kidding. False alarm!!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

My friend was in Tokyo and she was wondering what the hell is happening... phones going off... people running around like some berserk zombies.. She almost shit in her skirt when she found out the reason...

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

I find these early (and I'm using this loosely) warming systems more frightening than the quakes themselves. Always scares the hell out me when they start going off around me.

I myself don't use them as I think they're near useless.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

The announcement was canceled within seconds.

No it was not. The alert remained on the app for at least 20 minutes or more. Get the facts correct JT. I have the app and the alert caused my office to stop. It was not cancelled within seconds.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

The alert was canceled within seconds but the cancellation did not reach some app operators in time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

strange... my office or phone had no effect what so ever...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I was halfway to Narita on the NEX to pick someone up. Nothing happened at all and just now was the first I learned of it!!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Godzilla was swimming through Tokyo bay when he let one rip.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

There has been quite a few false alarms from these earthquake early warning systems. And, on the other hand, they rarely seem to go off when there is an earthquake. There has been three or four strong quakes in the Tokyo region in recent weeks, but no alarms went off prior to them. I've also had them go off four or five seconds after the quake has started. This makes it very hard to have any confidence in these systems.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Glad it was not the real thing, but they really need to reign in their glitches and false news releases. If lightning can cause an alert of a magnitude nine quake hitting Tokyo Bay it isn't much of a warning system.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Our office has the NIED browser up and the thing beeped but not our Android or iPhones or cellphone (one woman in the office has one of those cells that looks like a smartphone but is really a cellphone marketed to the elderly) and we were not at all alarmed. Hey, if the earthquake was really 9.1 then we would have felt it (in our fourth floor concrete building in Minato-Ku). We just went on with work. Although, I am hitting the liquor store and stocking up on miniature bottles of vodka and brandy. (Thanks to Choiwaruioyaji!)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There has been quite a few false alarms from these earthquake early warning systems. And, on the other hand, they rarely seem to go off when there is an earthquake. There has been three or four strong quakes in the Tokyo region in recent weeks, but no alarms went off prior to them. I've also had them go off four or five seconds after the quake has started. This makes it very hard to have any confidence in these systems.

I got blasted on this site for expressing similar sentiments almost exactly two years ago when suddenly at around 4:30 am on a Saturday, city-wide ( Tokyo ) emergency announcements blasted over the public PA system for a "Jishin desu." Nothing happened. How are we supposed to trust these systems when they go off for nothing? Every false alarm only makes people potentially complacent towards these warning systems.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The alert was canceled within seconds but the cancellation did not reach some app operators in time.

My app is the main Yurekuru app that this story is about, not some other 'branch app'. The emergency alert was on with a shock map for at least 20 minutes whilst colleagues with families in Kanto were in a state of panic. The sentence about the alert being cancelled within seconds should have been deleted.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I'm not buying the "lightning did it" excuse for a second - the system was either hacked or a bucho pressed the wrong button somewhere and now it's a cover your a_s mode. Heads should roll for this screwup - people with weak hearts or nervous dispositions don't need to be told a deathquake level 9 under their feet is only seconds away!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I'm with dharmadan. A lightning strike would have taken the app down. Not created a magnitude 9.1/ shindo 7 quake in Tokyo Bay..

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Having lived through the 2011 earthquake and the numerous large aftershocks, the early warning system does what it is meant to do, send out a warning. And if you know how the system works, if nothing happens five seconds after the warning sounds, then nothing is going to happen. It's just that simple. No harm, no foul.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

well, how about...in a parallel world, there was megaearthquake in Tokyo, but we are part of another reality, where this did not happen? we can count ourselves to be lucky in this case. (I love quantum mechanics! :)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Dear god, that would have truly been frightening! I didn't get this alert though..?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The alert most definitely was not cancelled in seconds. What happened was that the earthquake did not happen within seconds. Japanese news brought it up and apologized for not knowing it was a mistake, and probably caused by lightning.

22 minutes after the Yurikure announcement, at last a message popped up saying it was a mistake. That is the main app for this kind of event. I took a screen shot of it, which showed the exact time it was issued.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Someone informs me that Yurekuru has been downloaded by around 5 million users which in reality would have meant that a minimum of 2 million users would have received that alert yesterday.

And I do not believe it was lightning as that would have just taken the app out.

The earthquake alarm and the ensuing message of a magnitude 9 in Tokyo Bay brought my office in Hokuriku to a standstill with frantic phone calls made to families in Kanto, so this shouldnt be fobbed-off as just some technical glitch.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Lightning would not have taken the app out. The app information it receives is on the cloud more than likely.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Hope no false alert hereafter. Otherwise, it would turn into the second coming of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf." ;‑)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Never got anything, glad docomo has there stuff together :(

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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