Hawaii residents wake up to false alarm of imminent missile attack

Elias Hubbard
January 14, 2018

"NO missile threat to Hawaii", the state's Emergency Management Agency tweeted at 8:20 local time (1:20 ET).

An MSNBC producer tweeted the text messages she had received from a friend whose relatives had been caught in traffic as the alert went out.

"My phone's blowing up right now", Nawrocki added.

Hawaii U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz tweeted the false alarm was "totally inexcusable".

The Hawaii Democrat said officials she spoke with indicated that the initial alert was sent out inadvertently, characterizing it as an accident.

Peterson and Spaun evidently took longer than Justin Thomas to receive word the warning had been sent out by mistake.

A second alert went out about 45 minutes later. Earlier message was sent in error.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige (IG'-eh) says he's meeting with officials this morning to find out what happened after an alert was mistakenly sent to residents saying a ballistic missile was inbound for Hawaii.

When asked for comment on the emergency alert, a spokesperson for the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) said in a statement to ABC News, "We see absolutely nothing from NORAD in terms of a missile warning and refer you to the state of Hawaii". "State of Hawaii will send out a correction message as soon as possible".

White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters says it "was purely a state exercise".

Jodi Luchs, an ophthalmologist from Merrick, N.Y. visiting Hawaii for a conference, told CNBC that he was settling in for breakfast on an otherwise flawless day, when hundreds of diners received the false alarm simultaneously.

Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii.

The alert turned out to be false and the result of human error. There is nothing more important to Hawai'i than professionalizing and fool-proofing this process. "There needs to be tough and quick accountability and a fixed process".

"At a time of heightened tensions, we need to make sure all information released to community is accurate", she wrote.

In a conciliatory news conference Saturday, Ige promised to evaluate the testing system to ensure such a mistake would never happen again.

In addition, Defense Secretary James Mattis was briefed on the situation, a defense official told CNN. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said on social media the panel would launch an investigation.

North Korea has tested a volley of ballistic missiles over the last few years, and has repeatedly threatened the US with nuclear conflict. "Haha glad to know we'll all be safe".

"What happened was. during shift changes (with) outgoing and incoming staff, somebody selected the wrong item on a computer".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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