No, Alexa. There’s no ‘orange volcano warning’ for the Big Island

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — It appears that Amazon’s Alexa sent out an alert about a volcano warning to residents across the Big Island on Monday, Jan. 3. But don’t worry, there isn’t one.

In a video posted on Twitter, the recording says, “United States Geological Survey… has issued an orange volcano warning for Waikoloa. It’ll be in effect until January 4th, 8:50 a.m. HST.”

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The message then repeats itself, but in the second cycle, issues the warning for those living in Kailua-Kona.

According to Big Island resident and meteorologist Michael Phillips, who took the video, this alert was apparently sent island-wide, with residents in Hilo, Volcano, and Hawaiian Park Paradise among those that also got the alert. Phillips said he received the alert twice, nearly back-to-back Monday morning.

Watch the video below:

“I knew the language wasn’t consistent with the USGS’s, so I checked to see if they updated any volcano status and reached out to USGS for confirmation,” Phillips said in an email.

He also let U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Civil Defense and Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HIEMA) know about the erroneous warning.

HIEMA retweeted the post saying the “orange volcano warning” was incorrect. The USGS has not made any changes to the volcano status at Kilauea as of Monday, Jan. 3. After reaching out to Amazon, HIEMA said the Alexa team is investigating the report.

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“I’ve yet to hear what exactly happened,” Phillips said. “Although I fear if this was an automated or algorithm-based message, the same alert will happen again tomorrow morning when USGS/HVO issues their daily update.”

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