Hawaii Sent Out Ballistic Missile Alert by Mistake Officials Say

By Ivan Pentchoukov

Hawaii emergency officials confirmed that an alert about a ballistic missile bound for the island was sent by mistake.

Hawaii residents reported receiving an emergency alert on their phones on Saturday, Jan. 13.

“BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL,” the alert said.

House Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), tweeted that the alert was a false alarm.

“HAWAII – THIS IS A FALSE ALARM. THERE IS NO INCOMING MISSILE TO HAWAII. I HAVE CONFIRMED WITH OFFICIALS THERE IS NO INCOMING MISSILE,” Gabbard wrote on Twitter.

As news of the alert quickly spread on social media, Hawaii’s office of Emergency Management Agency tried to counteract the rumor.

“NO missile threat to Hawaii,” the agency wrote on Twitter.

Hawaii Emergency Management Agency Administrator Vern Miyagi was en route to the island’s 24-hour operations center to determine how the mistake happened, CNN reported.

“The warning was a mistake,” Miyagi told CNN.

Hawaii residents received a second alert 38 minutes after the original message to clarify that there was no missile threat.

But in those 38 minutes the message was televised, according to videos posted on social media.

Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), said in a tweet that the mistake was due to human error.

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

A Fox News reporter spoke to two residents at a hotel who were told to stay in their room and that a missile was incoming.

A spokesman for U.S. Pacific Command, Dave Benham, told Fox News that they have “detected no ballistic missile threat to Hawaii. Earlier message was sent in error. State of Hawaii will send out a correction message as soon as possible.”

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), tweeted that an investigation into the matter is necessary to prevent future incidents.

“Today’s alert was a false alarm,” Hirono wrote. “At a time of heightened tensions, we need to make sure all information released to the community is accurate. We need to get to the bottom of what happened and make sure it never happens again.”

Social media posts show that some Hawaii residents were hiding in fear of an imminent strike.

“I’m in Honolulu, Hawaii and my family is on the North Shore. They were hiding in the garage,” wrote Sara Donchey on Twitter. “My mom and sister were crying. It was a false alarm, but betting a lot of people are shaken.”

 

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