Hawaii missile alert: False alarm sparks panic in US state

The missile-strike message Hawaiians saw on their phones was a false alarmImage copyright
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The message Hawaiians saw on their phones

An incoming missile alert plunged residents of Hawaii into panic on Saturday morning before which was declared a false alarm.

Mobile phone users received a message saying: “Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. which will be not a drill.”

State Governor David Ige apologised in addition to said which was caused by an employee pressing the wrong button.

The US government announced there could be a full investigation.

An alert system will be in place because of the potential proximity of Hawaii to North Korean missiles.

In December, the state tested its nuclear warning siren for the 1st time since the end of the Cold War.

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Media captionOne man told US broadcaster CBS which he began running when the alarm sounded

How was the alert released?

The false warning message was sent to people’s mobile devices, in addition to was also broadcast on television in addition to radio stations.

The phone message notification, all in capital letters, went out at 08:07 (18:07 GMT).

which was corrected by email 18 minutes later however there was no follow-up mobile text for 38 minutes, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports.

Governor Ige said human error during one of the thrice-daily shift improvements at the state’s Emergency Management Agency (EMA) was to blame for the false alert.

“which was a procedure which occurs at the change of shift where they go through to make sure which the system, which which’s working. in addition to an employee pushed the wrong button,” he explained.

“which was an inadvertent mistake,” said EMA administrator Vern Miyagi. “The change of shift will be about three people. which should have been caught… which should not have happened.”

Television in addition to radio broadcasts across the state were interrupted using a recorded emergency message instructing people to stay indoors.

“If you are outdoors seek immediate shelter in a building. Remain indoors well away through windows. If you are driving pull safely to the side of the road in addition to seek shelter in a building while laying on the floor. We’ll announce when the threat has ended. which will be not a drill!”

How did Hawaiians react?

People within the US state have been sharing stories of momentary frenzy in addition to the panic-stricken messages they exchanged with loved ones after they received the alert.

Videos posted on social media appeared to show students at the University of Hawaii running for shelter after the missile threat was issued.

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Instagram/@SIGHPOUTSHRUG via Reuters

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An electronic sign in Oahu after the false alarm

Matt Lopresti, a member of the Hawaiian House of Representatives, was at home when he received the alert on his mobile phone.

He described how he in addition to his family had sought shelter in a bath tub.

“We got our children, grabbed our emergency supplies, put them in our most enclosed room in our house which will be our bathroom,” he told local broadcaster KGMB.

“We put them within the bath tub, said our prayers, tried to find out what the hell was going on because we didn’t hear any alarms, any of the sirens.

“There’s not much else you can do in which situation. You know, we did what we could… in addition to I am very angry right today because which shouldn’t be which easy to make such a big mistake.”

Golfers were also thrown into alarm ahead of the US PGA Hawaii Open in Honolulu, with US player Talor Gooch tweeting which “birdies didn’t seem too important for a few minutes”.

What happened with the button?

After the US military confirmed no missile threat had been detected, in addition to the alert had been released in error, Governor Ige explained:

“which was a procedure which occurs at the change of shift which they go through to make sure which the system will be working, in addition to an employee pushed the wrong button.”

What will be being done to prevent which happening again?

Ajit Pai, chairman of the US Federal Communications Commission, announced the investigation on Twitter.

US President Donald Trump, who was in Florida at the time of the alert, was briefed on the false alert, the White House said.

Senator Mazie Hirono, a Democrat through Hawaii, tweeted: “Today’s alert was a false alarm. At a time of heightened tensions, we need to make sure all information released to the community will be accurate. We need to get to the bottom of what happened in addition to make sure which never happens again.”

Why was Hawaii already on edge?

North Korea’s missile in addition to nuclear programme will be seen as a growing threat to America. Hawaii will be one of the US states closest to North Korea.

In September Pyongyang carried out its sixth nuclear test.

Last month, the Star-Advertiser reported which a missile launched through North Korea could strike Hawaii within 20 minutes of launch.

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Media captionThe siren incorporates a different tone through a natural disaster warning siren

Didn’t something similar happen in Japan which month?

A false earthquake warning was sent to millions of Japanese people’s phones on 5 January, causing a brief panic in addition to disrupting Tokyo’s transport network.

which turned out to be a false alarm triggered by an error within the earthquake warning system.

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