Hawaii mistakenly warns citizens of an incoming ballistic missile

Hawaii mistakenly warns citizens of an incoming ballistic missile

Kerry Wise
January 15, 2018

State officials and the U.S. military's Pacific Command confirmed there was no actual threat to the state.

Karen McPherson, who represents Calgary-Mackay-Nose Hill in the provincial legislature, said she was waiting to participate in a conference call on Saturday morning when an alert appeared on her phone stating there was an "inbound missile threat" headed for Hawaii.

The alert, Hawaii Gov. David Ige told CNN, was due to someone pushing the "wrong button".

"You know, I know firsthand that what happened today was totally unacceptable".

The state's EMA is working to determine the cause of the false alarm.

Sir John said the alert did not send him or his family into a panic. So, she grabbed her four children held them close, listened to the news and hoped for the best.

Hawaii officials apologized repeatedly and said the alert was sent when someone hit the wrong button during a shift change. "The change of shift is about three people". Miyagi, who said Hawaii would have only 12 to 13 minutes of warning in an actual attack, declined to say what action would be taken against the employee.

Hawaii Emergency Management Agency spokesman Richard Repoza said it was a false alarm and the agency is trying to determine what happened. Next time she goes to see her daughter, Lori says she'll add something else to her sightseeing. "The threat is there", said Vern Miyagi.

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It took close to 40 minutes for her to find out there was no threat.

The chair of the US Federal Communications Commission Ajit Pai said there would be a full investigation into the incident.

US military spokesperson David Benham later said US Pacific Command "has detected no ballistic missile threat to Hawaii ".

More than 90% of the population would survive the immediate effects of a nuclear explosion, according to the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency. The governor said some sirens went off on Saturday after the false alarm.

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Though the alert was quickly deemed false, many Hawaii residents heeded the nerve-wracking warning, scrambling to take refuge in hallways and basements.

"Everyone was running around like, 'What do we do?'" he said.

Ige then said that he was meeting with top defense and emergency management officials from the state "to determine what caused this morning's false alarm and to prevent it from happening again". "The whole state was terrified".