Was Hawaii at the risk of a “missile threat” from North Korea? No. Hawaii officials confirmed that an emergency alert warning instructing recipients to seek immediate shelter was sent accidentally. Despite residents of Hawaii having received the emergency alert on Saturday, there was a false alarm.
What happened? Residents received the following message: “Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill.” Why did it happen? The BBC reported that it was unclear how the initial mistake was made. Nonetheless, many were obviously concerned both in the state and out.
It was certainly a scary situation for those in Hawaii as not more than a week ago President Donald Trump boasted about having a much bigger nuclear button than Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader.
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser said emergency officials had mistakenly sent the message out by text at 08:07 (18:07 GMT) before correcting the error by email 18 minutes later. There was no follow-up mobile text until 38 minutes after the original alert, it said.
NO missile threat to Hawaii.
— Hawaii EMA (@Hawaii_EMA) January 13, 2018
Commander David Benham, a spokesman for US Pacific Command confirmed in a statement to CNN that there is no threat: “USPACOM has detected no ballistic missile threat to Hawaii,” the statement read. “Earlier message was sent in error. State of Hawaii will send out a correction message as soon as possible.”
Here are some reactions on social media to the false emergency alarm.
I’m in a parking lot in Waimea, Hawaii right now and everyone’s phones are buzzing with a warning about an incoming missile threat and “This is not a drill” language. Info? Anyone?
— David Wolman (@davidwolman) January 13, 2018
— Michelle Broder Van Dyke (@michellebvd) January 13, 2018
At 8:07am everyone in Hawaii got a phone alert: BALLISTIC THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.
The next 10 minutes were the most terrifying of my life, until I finally checked twitter and saw this.
But seriously, WTF just happened https://t.co/WrFO8qyxR9
— brynguist (@brynguist) January 13, 2018
This was my phone when I woke up just now. I’m in Honolulu, #Hawaii and my family is on the North Shore. They were hiding in the garage. My mom and sister were crying. It was a false alarm, but betting a lot of people are shaken. @KPRC2 pic.twitter.com/m6EKxH3QqQ
— Sara Donchey (@KPRC2Sara) January 13, 2018
Mistakes happen. This one was bad. But 38 minutes to formally correct mistake is not acceptable.
And still waiting for an official to speak directly and explain. #hawaii
— Juliette Kayyem (@juliettekayyem) January 13, 2018
NPR noted that Hawaiians heard a nuclear attack warning siren test last December for the first time since the Cold War, when the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency tested a statewide alert tone signaling nuclear threat. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-HI, confirmed the false alarm on Twitter 12 minutes after the errant message was sent.
HAWAII – THIS IS A FALSE ALARM. THERE IS NO INCOMING MISSILE TO HAWAII. I HAVE CONFIRMED WITH OFFICIALS THERE IS NO INCOMING MISSILE. pic.twitter.com/DxfTXIDOQs
— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) January 13, 2018
What did you think of the false emergency alarm? Were you affected by it or know someone who was? What was yours or their response? Let us know in the comments section.
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Author: Shawn Rice