Residents of Hawaii were terrified on Saturday morning as they woke up to receive a possible missile alert alarm only to be assured it was false afterwards.
An unusual message came through on the screen of mobile phone users that: “Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill.”
The warning message despite being received on mobile phones was broadcasted on radio and television stations.
“If you are outdoors seeking immediate shelter in a building. Remain indoors well away from windows. If you are driving pull safely to the side of the road and seek shelter in a building while laying on the floor. We’ll announce when the threat has ended. This is not a drill!”
The message was out on mobile devices at 08:07 (18:07 GMT) in capital letters and was corrected by an email about 18 minutes later while it took about 38 minutes before another mobile text to debunk the early message, the Star-Advertiser reports.
Governor David Ige apologized saying the panic was caused by an employee who hit the wrong button.
There is NO missile threat. https://t.co/qR2MlYAYxL
— Governor David Ige (@GovHawaii) January 13, 2018
“It was a procedure that occurs at the change of shift where they go through to make sure that the system that it’s working. And an employee pushed the wrong button,”
“It was an inadvertent mistake,” said EMA administrator Vern Miyagi. “The change of shift is about three people. That should have been caught… it should not have happened.”
NO missile threat to Hawaii.
— Hawaii EMA (@Hawaii_EMA) January 13, 2018
However, the alarm system is meant to alert of any possible potential North Korean. Last December, a siren test was carried out since the end of the cold war.
Just got off the phone w @AjitPaiFCC and glad they are going to work with us on developing best practices on the communications side for states and municipalities to make sure this never happens again. This system failed miserably and we need to start over.
— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) January 13, 2018
— U.S. Pacific Command (@PacificCommand) January 13, 2018
The @FCC is launching a full investigation into the false emergency alert that was sent to residents of Hawaii.
— Ajit Pai (@AjitPaiFCC) January 13, 2018