Hawaii suffered a false missile alert Saturday morning that sent residents into a panic before it was declared a mistake by United States officials.
The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency sent out a notification 8:07 a.m. local time that read: “Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill.”
The false message was blamed on human error when an official “pressed the wrong button”, according to Gov. David Ige, sending the alarm to citizens across the island state.
The emergency agency website went down soon after the alert, causing 38 minutes of uncertainty before a correction message was sent out.
Mr. Ige apologized to residents, with Washington saying an investigation would be opened into the incident.
U.S. Pacific Command spokesperson Commander David Benham also released a statement which read “SPACOM has detected no ballistic missile threat to Hawaii. Earlier message was sent in error.”
The alert system is largely in place because of the potential threat of North Korean missiles.
Admiral John Kirby, military and diplomatic analyst for CNN, said that there needed to be more accountability to prevent human error.
More details to follow. Image of Hawaii alert from Mashable.