The authorities confirmed on Saturday that there was no ballistic missile headed towards Hawaii minutes after an emergency alert was despatched to cellphones there urging individuals to hunt quick shelter, resulting in chaos and confusion.
“BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII,” the alert mentioned. “SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”
A corrected alert was despatched out 38 minutes later.
“There isn’t a missile menace or hazard to the State of Hawaii,” it learn. “Repeat. False Alarm.”
The episode got here at a time of heightened tensions with North Korea, which has mentioned that it has efficiently examined ballistic missiles able to reaching america.
Consultant Tulsi Gabbard, Democrat of Hawaii, tweeted shortly after the primary alert was despatched that she had confirmed that there was no missile.
Cmdr. David Benham, a spokesman for america Pacific Command, mentioned in an emailed assertion: “USPACOM has detected no ballistic missile menace to Hawaii. Earlier message was despatched in error.”
The false alarm triggered widespread panic on social media.
It was not instantly clear why the mistaken alert was despatched. Senator Mazie Ok. Hirono, Democrat of Hawaii, emphasised the significance of constructing positive that “all data launched to the group is correct.”
She added, “We have to unravel what occurred and ensure it by no means occurs once more.”
Senator Brian Schatz, Democrat of Hawaii, tweeted an analogous assertion. “There may be nothing extra essential to Hawaii than professionalizing and fool-proofing this course of,” he mentioned.
“What occurred right now is completely inexcusable,” he added. “The entire state was terrified.”