Ballistic Missile Emergency Alert for Hawaii Was a False Alarm

On Saturday morning Hawaii residents received a notification that there was an approaching ballistic missile and to take cover immediately, The Huffington Post reports.

“BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL,” the emergency alert read, according to CNN.

The emergency message immediately caused concern, but the Hawaii Office of Emergency Management quickly took to Twitter to tell residents that there was “NO missile threat to Hawaii.” About 30 minutes later, a message was sent out to mobile devices to confirm that the emergency message was in fact sent out in error, HuffPost reports.

According to CNN, Hawaii Emergency Management Agency is looking into why the message was sent out. The agency’s administrator, Vern Miyagi, said “the warning was a mistake.”

Corporal L. Miller of Honolulu Police Department’s Kahuku substation told HuffPost that “authorities confirmed there was no impending threat within 5 to 10 minutes after contacting the state’s civil defense.”

Miller also added, “If the alert was real, the sirens would’ve went off at the same time.”

Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz took to Twitter, according to CNN, to alert constituents that the message was sent in error.

“There is no missile threat. It was a false alarm based on a human error. There is nothing more important to Hawaii than professionalizing and fool-proofing this process,” Schatz wrote.

Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono also took to Twitter, writing, “At a time of heightened tensions, we need to make sure all information released to community is accurate. We need to get to the bottom of what happened and make sure it never happens again.”

In a statement, Hawaii Gov. David Ige wrote, “While I am thankful this morning’s alert was a false alarm, the public must have confidence in our emergency alert system.”

“I am working to get to the bottom of this so we can prevent an error of this type in the future,” he added.