Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
World | By Melba Underwood

Hawaii officials say missile alert was mistake

Hawaii officials say missile alert was mistake

In a statement US Pacific command tweeted: "U.S". There was a lot of unnecessary pain and anxiety.

Ige somebody "pressed the wrong button", which sent out the alert, during a shift change at an emergency management facility.

The US representative Tulsi Gabbard tweeted that the alert was an error, writing: "HAWAII - THIS IS A FALSE ALARM".

Twitter was a mix of panic and confusion and ultimately relief and then outrage when it was revealed that the threat was not real, and perhaps caused by human error.

Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz also took to Twitter on Saturday in the wake of the false alarm. There is NO threat to the State of Hawaii! "This was purely a state exercise", the official said.

Others were outraged that such an alert could go out in error.

The message was sent by text at 8:07am local time (18:07 GMT) and it took about 30 minutes for officials to send a follow-up text correcting the alert. This time, the alert reads "There is no missile threat or danger to the State of Hawaii". He said he was still in bed when the phone started going off "like insane". "Everybody's phones went off". And within five minutes it was like a ghost town. "We didn't know where to turn to".

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"We just weren't sure what to do", Lee told The News.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission announced that it was initiating a full investigation of the incident.

Rep. Gabbard told CNN that the alert was "inadvertent", according to a tweet by Jake Tapper. In addition, he said the alert should have gone out to all cellphone carriers and he will investigate why the alert wasn't received by some cellphones. The following message, from the Hawaii News Now app, is pushed to mobile devices: "There is no current ballistic missile threat".

In December, the state launched a campaign to educate the state on what to do if an attack is launched. When the alert came, she said, she piled her mother, 15-year-old son, two-year-old daughter and partner into the vehicle, swung by her other son's workplace to pick him up, and then sped to her office at the botanical gardens - a building with concrete walls that is used as a hurricane shelter. A screenshot of the alert first appeared on Twitter, with several Hawaii residents confirming that they too had received it. "Earlier message was sent in error", a U.S. Pacific Command spokesman said in an email.

Several people in Hawaii have spoken to the media about the "pure chaos" that ensued after the message was sent out.

"This enormous mistake is unacceptable".

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