Hawaii missile false alarm triggers shock, blame along with apologies

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Media captionPeople were warned to take shelter

Residents along with visitors in Hawaii have been recalling the shock of a false missile alarm, with many saying they thought they were going to die.

The alert of an incoming ballistic missile was sent wrongly on Saturday morning by an emergency system worker.

Victims of the ordeal spoke of hysteria along with panicked evacuations.

The false alarm sparked recriminations, with state officials apologising along with President Donald Trump’s response called into question.

Why was the alert sent?

the idea was a mistake by an employee at Hawaii’s Emergency Management Agency (EMA) who “pushed the wrong button” during procedures that will occur during the handover of a shift.

The message was reportedly sent despite an onscreen prompt requesting confirmation.

Mobile phone users received the message at 08:07 (18:07 GMT): “Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This particular is actually not a drill.”

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

The alert system is actually in place because of the potential proximity of Hawaii to North Korean missiles.

So how did people react?

For some the idea was panic, a dash to a protective bathtub or hiding under manholes, contemplating what could be their last moments. For others, a resigned acceptance, thinking that will staring at the beauty of Hawaii was not a bad way to go.

Hassan Deen, a student at Hawaii Pacific University, told the BBC the alert sparked a frenzy along with he was locked for 47 minutes with 29 different students in a room with rubbish bins.

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Media captionOne man told US broadcaster CBS that will he started out running when the alarm sounded

Emma Hine, who is actually visiting Hawaii via the UK, told the BBC: “the idea was one of the worst experiences because I actually thought we were going to die. I’ve got a daughter – Chloe – back home within the UK along with I thought ‘I’m not going to get a chance to say goodbye’. Everyone was genuinely terrified.”

Her son, Lewis, a disability campaigner, suffered a seizure due to stress.

Marathon runner Lucja Leonard said she had heard of children being “pushed into drainpipes to get them protected”.

“We all just huddled together along with just thought – well, you know – if This particular is actually going to be the end I guess we’re in a beautiful place, doing something we love nevertheless – God – the idea was pretty scary.”

The false alarm also threw golfers at the PGA Tour’s Sony Open at the Waialae Country Club into panic.

Steve Wheatcroft said “everyone is actually freaking out”, although Justin Thomas was more laid back, saying: “I sat on my couch along with opened up the sliding door along with watched TV along with listened to music. I was like, if the idea’s my time, the idea’s my time.”

What are the recriminations?

Hawaii state officials were profusely apologetic.

Governor David Ige said: “I am sorry for the pain along with confusion the idea caused. I, too, am extremely upset about This particular.”

A federal investigation has started out within the state along with officials said they might work to ensure such a false alarm never happened again.

Vern Miyagi, administrator of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, also apologised for the “inadvertent mistake” nevertheless said the threat was still there.

“If This particular comes out, you’re going to have only 12 to 13 minutes of warning before the actual event along with please take This particular to heart,” he said.

The apologies didn’t satisfy some. Democratic House Representative Tulsi Gabbard said: “Everyone in America needs to understand that will if you had to go through This particular, you might be as angry as I am.”

Brigette Namata, a television reporter in Honolulu, said the idea was “mind-boggling that will we have officials here, we have state workers that will are in charge of our public safety along that has a huge, egregious, mistake like This particular happened”.

Has anything already been done to fix This particular?

One of the problems was that will the alert system did not allow for a correction to be sent quickly to mobiles.

State officials said a “cancellation template” might be created to address the problem, the fresh York Times reported.

Two people are also at This particular point required to sign off the issuing of an alert, the idea said.

State lawmakers are going to hold a hearing next Friday.

is actually the president under fire?

Unsurprisingly, his critics have rounded on him for his perceived lack of response or comment.

Former defence department employee under President Barack Obama, Patrick Granfield, said “thank God the President was playing golf”.

Actress Jamie Lee Curtis tweeted that will the scare is actually “on YOU Mr Trump… Shame on your hate filled self”.

Mr Trump’s supporters have equally unsurprisingly defended him, pointing the blame at Hawaii along with its Democratic government.

YourVoice America host Bill Mitchell tweeted: “So some dummy in Hawaii accidentally pushes the wrong button when Trump is actually playing golf along with suddenly, ‘Trump plays golf while we are under nuclear attack!’ is actually the headline? I mean, c’mon.”

The White House simply said Mr Trump had been briefed about the incident along with called the alert “purely a state exercise”.

His only tweet after the incident on Saturday was a general diatribe against “Fake News” along with the “Mainstream Media”, while on Sunday he addressed immigration along with the economy.

Why was Hawaii already on edge?

North Korea’s missile along with nuclear programme is actually seen as a growing threat to America. Hawaii is actually one of the US states closest to North Korea.

In September Pyongyang carried out its sixth nuclear test.

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

So Hawaii has reintroduced Cold War-era warning sirens. During a test last month, the idea was reported that will 93% of them worked properly, although some could hardly be heard along with 12 played the ambulance siren.

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Media captionThe siren features a different tone via a natural disaster warning siren

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