On Saturday, Hawaii residents reported an alarming alert pushed to their cell phones just before 8:10 a.m., sending the state into a full-blown panic.
Just received this alert in Hawaii pic.twitter.com/VCHwRdG9Bc
— Amanda Golden (@amandawgolden) January 13, 2018
— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) January 13, 2018
6 mins into our ride here in Hawaii and this is the text I just received? Not sure what to do. Sirens are going off. pic.twitter.com/D5USDAw3wp
— Emily Batty (@emilybatty) January 13, 2018
Minutes later, the notification was confirmed via Twitter as a false alarm, first by a Hawaii Congresswoman, then by other officials. The incident also prompted defence agencies, including the Pentagon and the U.S. Pacific Command, to issue a statement that they had “detected no ballistic missile threat to Hawaii.”
HAWAII – THIS IS A FALSE ALARM. THERE IS NO INCOMING MISSILE TO HAWAII. I HAVE CONFIRMED WITH OFFICIALS THERE IS NO INCOMING MISSILE. pic.twitter.com/DxfTXIDOQs
— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) January 13, 2018
NO missile threat to Hawaii.
— Hawaii EMA (@Hawaii_EMA) January 13, 2018
HFO issues Public Information Statement (PNS) https://t.co/denVqPGslf
— NWSHonolulu (@NWSHonolulu) January 13, 2018
U.S. Pacific Command has detected no ballistic missile threat to Hawaii. Earlier message was sent in error. State of Hawaii will send out a correction message as soon possible. pic.twitter.com/hqidbV0BWn
— U.S. Pacific Command (@PacificCommand) January 13, 2018
Michael Kucharek, spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defence Command in Colorado Springs, Colorado, said NORAD and the U.S. Northern Command are still trying to verify what happened in Hawaii—but that “NORAD did not see anything that indicated any sort of threat to Hawaii.”
It took nearly 40 minutes for another push notification to be sent out notifying people about the error.
The emergency alert claiming a ballistic missile attack was inbound was sent at 8:08AM. It took until 8:45AM to state it was a false alarm. 37 minutes where anyone in Hawaii who doesn’t sit on Twitter dot com all day thought their island might be incinerated. Fire people. Fix it. pic.twitter.com/hhCIrNLg1D
— Jerry Dunleavy (@JerryDunleavy) January 13, 2018
Hawaii senator Brian Schatz said the false alarm happened due to “human error.”
There is no missile threat. It was a false alarm based on a human error. There is nothing more important to Hawai‘i than professionalizing and fool-proofing this process.
— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) January 13, 2018
Hawaii’s governor also vowed to get to the bottom of what happened.
I am meeting this morning with top officials of the State Department of Defense and the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency to determine what caused this morning’s false alarm and to prevent it from happening again.
— Governor David Ige (@GovHawaii) January 13, 2018
In a conciliatory news conference later in the day, Hawaii officials apologized for the mistake and vowed to ensure it will never happen again.
Hawaii Emergency Management Agency Administrator Vern Miyagi said the error happened when someone hit the wrong button.
“We made a mistake,” said Miyagi.
Questions still remain about what implications of a notification like this could have at a time when nuclear tensions are high.
This was terrifying. We were all looking for shelter. Now crying with relief. https://t.co/jzfH1SrM4a
— Chris Gaither (@cgaither) January 13, 2018
Some good news: Fox News did not go live with that bogus Hawaii ballistic missile threat alarm.
Definitely going to have nightmares about that.
— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) January 13, 2018
Notable: The cable news nets exercised caution when the missile alert came out. No breathless breaking news reports. In fact, none of the cablers reported the alert at all until it was ruled a false alarm.
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) January 13, 2018
The incoming ballistic missile notification that people received in Hawaii is false. Which begs the question: was it a hack or mistake?
— Garrett Ventry (@GarrettVentry) January 13, 2018
— Trip Gabriel (@tripgabriel) January 13, 2018
The White House said President Donald Trump, at his private club in Florida, was briefed on the false alert. White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said it “was purely a state exercise.”
In his first public comments since the false alarm, U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted a criticism of the media and appeared to lash out at Fire and Fury writer Michael Wolff, calling him a “deranged author.” Trump didn’t mention the situation in Hawaii.
So much Fake News is being reported. They don’t even try to get it right, or correct it when they are wrong. They promote the Fake Book of a mentally deranged author, who knowingly writes false information. The Mainstream Media is crazed that WE won the election!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 13, 2018
—With files from The Associated Press
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