Hawaii panics over 'missile strike' false alarm


Hawaii was in a state of panic for about 30 minutes.

Image: A retraction followed 38 minutes after the alert. L. Miller of Honolulu Police Department's Kahuku substation told HuffPost.

The agency had tweeted there was no threat about 10 minutes after the initial alert, but residents who were not on Twitter did not see the correction.

A corrected message indicating that "there is no missile threat or danger to the state of Hawaii" was not dispatched to phones until almost 40 minutes later.

The agency did not have a plan for a false alarm in place, officials said.

The alert caused a tizzy on the islands and across social media.

The governor said some sirens went off on Saturday after the false alarm. "I, too, am extremely upset about this and am doing everything I can do to immediately improve our emergency management systems, procedures, and staffing", said Governor.

In a previous, Ige said that although he was "thankful" the alert was only a false alarm, "the public must have confidence in our emergency alert system". The message told people to "seek immediate shelter".

Wada said the instructors and staff at the school "seemed calm", despite being at Honolulu International Airport, which is located adjacent to the USA military's Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

"An employee pushed the wrong button", Ige said.

The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency's administrator, Vern Miyagi, said he took responsibility for the mistake.

Officials say the mistake happened during what's called a shift-change drill that takes place three times a day at the emergency command post. Two minutes later, the warning test was triggered statewide.

Others were outraged. Hawaii U.S. Sen.

The state adjutant general, Maj.

It was 8.07am local time when the alert came through. But the warning wasn't called off for nearly another 40 minutes. This alert was sent out to residents' phones, as well as radio and TV broadcasts.

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Wireless emergency alerts are usually dispatched during critical emergency situations and are a partnership of the Federal Communications Commission, Federal Emergency Management Agency and the wireless industry.

Those watching television also had their broadcasts interrupted by the ballistic missile threat alert, according to NBC.

All emergency warning drills are suspended until EMA completes a full analysis of Saturday's mishap.

Many have been stunned by how unprepared they were.

"There's really nowhere to take cover in Hawaii".

Remain indoors well away from windows.

"There is a screen that says, 'Are you sure you want to do this?'" Miyagi said, adding that the employee "feels awful about it".

"Today is a day that most of us will never forget", said Hawaii Gov. David Ige.

Both Qureshi and Denino noted that there were few, if any, bomb shelters in the area and that homes are generally constructed without basements.

Ms Smith, who works as a photographer for Fairfax Media in Sydney, had been on holiday for about a week-and-a-half with her husband, Nick Conrick, their eight-year-old son, Nixon, and 13-year-old daughter, Ebony. He immediately turned the auto around and sped back to his wife and newborn child. "A day when many frantically try to think about the things that they would do if a ballistic missile launch would happen", he said.

Natural disaster alerts - including false alarms - have been even more common, with the erroneous reports contributing to a growing and potentially risky sense of indifference among some.

Wall added that state officials need to sort out what went wrong and ensure it doesn't happen again. "But it's enough time to evacuate", she said. "I'm sure that people were put in serious danger".

"I am deeply troubled by this misstep that could have had dire consequences".

The alert and rush to shelter caused "confusion", McGowan said, particularly for the children in the group.