Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Research | By Raquel Erickson

Hawaii accidentally warns citizens of incoming missile


People in Hawaii were sent into a panic Saturday morning when they got an emergency alert on their phones that said, "Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii".

At 8:19 a.m. local time, USA congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard tweeted, "HAWAII - THIS IS A FALSE ALARM".

Television broadcasts and mobile phones in Hawaii were interrupted by an emergency warning of an incoming missile on Saturday. "I repeat, there is NO THREAT at this time". Friends and family began to message one another asking if the alert was real.

The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency says it's not clear what caused the alert to go out.

"What happened today is totally inexcusable".

Hawai'i residents were stunned this morning by what turned out to be a false alarm of an incoming missile launch.


According to Hawaii Emergency Management Agency spokesman Richard Repoza, the alert was sent in error.

It followed with instructions to "seek immediate shelter in a building", and other commands to "take immediate actions measures", while scrolling text at the top of the screen alerted viewers of the danger. "There needs to be tough and quick accountability and a fixed process".

A Buzzfeed reporter noted another alert clarifying that the first was a mistake wasn't sent out to cell phones for almost 40 minutes.

"There is no missile threat", he tweeted. "It was a false alarm based on a human error. State of Hawaii will send out a correction message as soon as possible".

The message was sent amid heightened nuclear tensions between the United States and North Korea.

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