After sending the state of Hawaii into a panic, an Saturday morning alert warning people of an incoming ballistic missile was called a “false alarm based on a human error.”
The message read: “BALLISTIC MISSILE INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”
The Hawaii Emergency Management agency confirmed the alert was false, but did not say how the error was sent out.
The National Weather Service in Hawaii is able to trigger the phone alerts and sent out the following statement:
“The Warning Message received by the National Weather Service from Hawaii state officials has been confirmed to be a test message. Repeating, the Warning Message received this morning DOES NOT DEPICT A REAL MISSILE THREAT. It was a test message.”
According to Hawaii News Now, the alert went out at 8 a.m. and was confirmed to be an error within 15 minutes. But that was enough time to send people scramble for shelter and their cars. Cell phones were overloaded and the Hawaii Emergency Management website appeared to go down.
Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii said the false alarm was “human error.”
“There is no missile threat,” he tweeted. “It was a false alarm based on a human error. There is nothing more important to Hawaii than professionalizing and fool-proofing this process.”
“What happened today is totally inexcusable. The whole state was terrified. There needs to be tough and quick accountability and a fixed process.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard tweeted a screenshot of the warning and a message saying it was false.