(AP) — The National Weather Service plans to investigate a fake threat that was circulated about an earthquake in Japan and a subsequent tsunami.

“It was fabricated, it was not a real message and there was no earthquake in Japan,” said Chip McCreery, director of Pacific Tsunami Warning Center on Oahu, which is operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The bogus message went out after 4 p.m. Tuesday on a global telecommunications system used by the World Meteorological Organization based in Switzerland.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center received inquiries from global weather agencies and tsunami monitoring stations. Officials provided assurances there was no earthquake or tsunami threat, with additional messages posted on social media.

Unlike the false ballistic missile threat issued to cellphones in Hawaii last year, the tsunami warning was only shared on a closed communication channel.

“It’s a type of circuit that should be dedicated and secure, only within the meteorological services of the various countries,” McCreery said.

The National Weather Service will “be able to determine at least a general idea of where that message came from and hopefully put something in effect to prevent that from happening in the future,” McCreery said.

A tsunami warning sign in Kona. Chad Blair/Civil Beat

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