Hawaii: Probe promised as false missile alert sparks panic

Elias Hubbard
January 15, 2018

"SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL" - was a false alarm.

The erroneous message came after months of soaring tensions between Washington and Pyongyang, which claimed it had successfully tested ballistic missiles that could deliver atomic warheads to the United States, including the Hawaiian islands popular with tourists. She said the nuclear threat underscored the need for Trump to meet with Kim to work out differences without preconditions.

The error sparked a doomsday panic across the islands.

Cars were reportedly abandoned on highways and people who were outside at the time hid in the homes of neighbours as others prepared to flee. "It was a test message", the service said.

Speaking about the experience on Twitter, Mr Carrey wrote: "I woke up this morning in Hawaii with ten minutes to live".

On CNN, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, said she received the alert, called Hawaii officials right away and confirmed that it was "an inadvertent message that was sent out".

Miyagi said a rule has already been put in place to mandate that two people be present before the button is pushed to alert for a drill or emergency.

Social media was filled with accounts from horrified Hawaiians, and a thread on social media platform Reddit revealed just how frantic people were during those 38 minutes.

Here's what the alert looked like for iPhone users.

"We kept quiet and calmed".

"Heard a knock on the door".

Terrified residents scrambled to seek shelter, with some hiding in their garages and bathtubs. One unconfirmed Twitter posting showed a resident lowering children through a manhole in a sidewalk.

"AGAIN FALSE ALARM", he wrote in a second tweet.

"We've got to get to the underlying issue here of why are the people of Hawaii and this country facing a nuclear threat coming from North Korea today, and what is this President doing urgently to eliminate that threat?"

Brian Naeole, who was visiting Honolulu from Molokai, said he wasn't anxious since he didn't hear sirens and neither TV nor radio stations issued alerts.

"I thought it was either a hoax or a false alarm", he said.

"I don't even know how to begin to describe it. You're going to be OK, '" Liggett said.

In a first, the Defense Department May 30, 2017, destroyed a mock intercontinental ballistic missile over the Pacific with a new hit-to-kill vehicle meant to protect the homeland against the growing threat from North Korea.

Many have been stunned by how unprepared they were.

The alert forced people to act quickly and make hard decisions.

As to how this whole saga unfolded, Hawaii governor David Ige explained that the message was sacked off after someone involved in a drill accidentally pressed a wrong button. "At this point, our major concern is to make sure we do what we need to do to reassure the public", he said. "It was the real deal and definitely not something I want to experience again".

The former Prime Minister, Sir John Key, said he thought it was unusual that he didn't receive the false missile alarm text, but his wife did.

Hawaii Gov. David Y. Ige said the alert was sent in error on Saturday by a worker who "pushed the wrong button" during a shift change at the state's emergency command post.

In a press conference on Saturday, the head of Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency, Vern Miyagi, said the worker "feels bad". "So we are going through our processes and procedures to figure out where that went wrong". "And that was why it took a while to notify everyone", he told a media conference. It was a false alarm based on a human error.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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