Computer error created volcano warning

The Washington State Emergency Management Department was a little alarmed when its monthly test of coastal test equipment started sending out urgent warnings of volcanic eruptions.

When the coastal sirens were tested they were supposed to play light music across the whole of the siren network.

Instead the system got all Pompeii and started screaming warnings of an impeding volcanic eruption.

More than 50 warning towers along the Pacific and Strait of Juan de Fuca coasts blurted out fears of lava, magma and toxic fumes. It made life a little different from the usual 20 metre shark warning.

State Deputy Emergency Manager Chuck Wallace told the Peninsula Daily News  the button used to initiate the test was incorrectly programmed. Instead of music it went into the panic alarm.

Wallace says the error has been fixed although we just think it was a intelligent computer having a laugh to see what the humans would do.

The next regular test of the coastal system will be on July 5 so it will be interesting to see what punters are warned about this time. Smart money is on an announcement of a UFO invasion although Black Death contracted by the use of an infected eyePad is an outsider.