Employee Who Sent False Hawaii Missile Alert Thought It Was Real

Lawrence Kim
January 31, 2018

According to the FCC report released Tuesday, this worker is the only one who apparently did not understand it was a drill. The state has previously said that the alert was sent accidentally, so there was some disputing details from both sides.

Motorists were reported to have driven at speeds over 100 miles per hour to take shelter in highway tunnels. The Bureau is still investigating and plans to issue a final report on the Hawaii incident.

Meanwhile, the agency's top two civilian officials have resigned. Another staffer stepped down before facing disciplinary action, and a fourth staffer in in the process of being suspended without pay.

The chief of Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency, Vern Miyagi, also resigned following the release of the preliminary report, accepting "full responsibility" for the terrifying ordeal.

After the mistake was realized, the employee reportedly "froze" and "seemed confused", forcing another worker to take over and send a correction, Oliveira said. The supervisor managing the day-shift workers appeared to be aware of the upcoming test but believed it was aimed at the outgoing night-shift workers. A message was sent out that said "this is not a drill" before clarifying "exercise, exercise, exercise,".

Other workers heard the message on a speakerphone.

The employee in question refuses to cooperate with the investigation, and the agency has no legal authority to compel the fired worker to assist the probe.

The Federal Communications Commission said Tuesday that Hawaii had been testing alert capabilities, causing the employee to mistake a drill for a real attack. Employee 1 "just sat there and didn't respond", so another worker grabbed the man's computer mouse and canceled the message.

The report concludes the language and lack of supervision are reasons why the unnamed worker thought an attack was imminent.

The governor opened the state's news conference saying that he hopes the probe would help to begin to restore confidence in the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency.

The state has been preparing for a nuclear missile attack from North Korea since previous year when tensions between President Donald Trump and leader Kim Jong-un escalated.

Another employee "took control" of the mouse and sent the cancelation alert. Gen. Kenneth Hara, Hawaii's deputy adjutant general, to review emergency management protocol and to institute reforms.

The Federal Communications Commission says human error and inadequate safeguards are to blame for a missile alert that was sent mistakenly in Hawaii. The incoming day supervisor was then said to be unaware the 08:05 drill would involve any incoming day officers, who were then not told about the exercise.

The alert was sent to cellphones, TV and radio stations in Hawaii earlier this month, resulting in panic among Hawaiians. "The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency had not anticipated the possibility of issuing a false alert and, as such, had failed to develop standard procedures for its response", the FCC added.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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