Vendor blamed for mistaken tsunami alert broadcast in Alaska

Authorities say a third-party vendor is to blame for a mistaken tsunami alert broadcast on Alaska TV and radio stations last month.

Dennis Bookey, co-chair of the Alaska State Emergency Communications Committee, says this and similar incidents suggest the format of the National Weather Service's internal testing system for tsunamis should be reviewed.

Bookey's comments came in a written account 10 days after the errant alert was broadcast May 11. It was provided this week to The Associated Press by Jeremy Zidek, a spokesman for Alaska's emergency management division.

Zidek said improvements are being made to the Emergency Alert System, and in this case, updated codes were not recognized.

Bookey says the software coding issue was corrected after it was discovered.