Hawaiians jarred by false alarm of ballistic missile threat


Because there was no call [from the USA military], there was no decision necessary to activate the 394 state wide-sirens.

Thankfully, it was an error and the team - and everyone else in Hawaii - survived to tell their stories.

Hawaii Emergency Management Agency spokesman Richard Repoza said it was a false alarm and the agency is trying to determine what happened.

David Ige told CNN that the mistake was caused by someone pushing "the wrong button".

The false alarm sent Hawaii residents and visitors into a panic, scrambling for any shelter they could find, from storm drains to bathtubs to basements.

"It was pretty nerve-wracking I would say, because we all got it at the same time", she said. "He feels bad about it and it won't happen again".

Residents of Hawaii were told that a ballistic missile was heading for the Pacific island and that they should take cover, in a emergency alert sent to people's phones entirely by accident.

Mototaka Hirose, a 54-year-old Japanese tourist from Osaka, heard an announcement from a flight attendant that the missile alarm message was false shortly before touching down at Honolulu airport.

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KBTX spoke to a College Station couple vacationing in Hawaii that received this alert and experienced the panic of the situation.

The full message reads as follows: "BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII".

Hawaii has been on edge in recent months amid an escalating war of words between the United States and North Korea.

In addition, State Rep. Scott Saiki, the Democratic speaker of the Hawaii House of Representatives, declared on Facebook that "this can not happen again".

On Saturday local time an emergency alert in capital letters was sent to the mobile phones of residents.

"We understand that, clearly, we need to improve that process", he added.

"An error was made in emergency management which allowed this false alarm to be sent", Ige said.