An alert Saturday informed Hawaii residents that a ballistic missile threat was inbound to the island state, sending residents into a panic for almost 40 minutes before a second alert informed residents that the first message had been a false alarm.
An emergency alert was sent to cell phones urging people to take shelter because there was a ballistic-missile threat. "Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill". "Repeat. False Alarm." Nearly 40 minutes has passed since the state sent the initial alert to cellular phones.
Tensions in the Pacific Basin have been high since North Korea began test-firing ballistic missiles into the Pacific Ocean. "False alarm. We're now investigating", reads the post.
Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard were some of the first officials to confirm this morning's alert message was apparently sent in error.
Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, tweeted that she would work to find out what occurred. But a revised push alert stating there was no threat went out sometime after that.
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Hawaii's governor David Ige told CNN that human error was responsible for the alert being sent out. "There is nothing more important to Hawaii than professionalizing and fool-proofing this process".
"I think it depends on the carrier", he said, "what is the carrier or the company that sponsors that, but we'll review that too, because all of them should have gotten this".
Social media erupted as a flurry of people shared the shocking communication.
At 10.45 am HST the White House said they had nothing to do with the alarm. She included a screen grab of the false alarm.
"There is NO threat to the State of Hawaii!" the mayor tweeted.
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"It is a false alarm".
Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency (EMA) also tweeted to assure concerned persons that there was "no missile threat" to all throughout the state.
Gov. David Ige said at a press conference today that the false alarm was caused by human error during a shift change when an "employee pushed the wrong button".
The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency sought to calm nerves soon after the accidental alarm.
Actor Jim Carrey said on Twitter that he woke up the news on the island with a notification, before criticising US President Donald Trump about his handling of the North Korean crisis.
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