Maintenance turned out to be the reason a buoy off the New Jersey coast went into "event mode" on Saturday, prompting Internet rumors and speculation about tsunami warnings.

The National Data Buoy Center told NJ Advance Media in a statement that "routine maintenance" on  Station 44402 "caused a data spike on the National Data Buoy Center's website, although there was no tsunami threat present. In the event of a real tsunami threat, NOAA's tsunami warning centers will alert the public."

Chart showing spike in the water height at buoy station 44402 (NOAA)

The buoy, located 130 nautical miles southeast of Fire Island, New York, recorded a sudden drop in the water depth of 88 feet on Saturday night, which then jumped to 180 feet within 15 seconds, as if there was a tsunami-sized wave off the coast.

The news website Newsworks said that no other buoys in the area recorded any changes in the ocean level.

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