Hawaiians were sent into a state of panic after an emergency alert of a “ballistic missile threat inbound” flashed across mobile screens on Saturday.
The mobile alert was as follows:
“BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”
The false emergency alert attributed to U.S. Pacific Command also flashed on a ticker during a soccer broadcast.
Another false emergency alert flashed during a basketball game broadcast.
It indeed was not a drill, but it was a false alarm, as was clarified by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI):
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
The confirmation that were was no threat came from U.S. Pacific Command.
— U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (@INDOPACOM) January 13, 2018
The alarming emergency alert prompted many to give sympathy to Hawaiians.
So sorry for all the people in Hawaii who went through that — we know someone who’s there with her family. Crying in closet texting goodbyes to loved ones, husband shielding their baby. Sounds traumatic. Hang in there, folks.
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) January 13, 2018
Imagine living in Hawaii and waking up to this at 8am on a Saturday… someone is going to need to provide some answers as to what actually triggered this alert. pic.twitter.com/Sxo9iDLkb5
— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) January 13, 2018
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) January 13, 2018
I know ppl in Hawaii who were evacuated to shelters in Maui so safe to say their govt hasn't spread the message far enough yet
— paige s. (@PaigeSully88) January 13, 2018
It is currently unknown what caused the false emergency alert. According to the LA Times:
Hawaii Emergency Management Agency spokesman Richard Repoza said it was not immediately known what caused the false alarm but that the agency was trying to determine what happened.
Appearing on CNN in an interview, Rep. Gabbard attributed the fake emergency alert to an “inadvertent message” and a “mistake.’
As reported by NBC News, Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) said that the mistake was “totally inexcusable.”
“The whole state was terrified,” he said. “There needs to be tough and quick accountability and a fixed process.”
This is breaking news, more information will be provided as forthcoming.
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