Local couple in Hawaii during false alert about ballistic missile attack

Lucy Bush
January 15, 2018

He said officials would study the error to make sure it doesn't happen again.

The administrator of Hawaii's Emergency Management Administration, Vern Miyagi, told reporters that the person responsible for the erroneous message "feels terrible" about it.

"He wasn't too concerned and said, 'I hope if this happens, I just vaporize.' And it was one of those things where you laugh, but it's also terrifying" she explained.

Thousands of people panicked across the island of Hawaii Saturday morning following a false ballistic missile warning spread across the state.

The message sent to mobile phones warned, in capital letters: "Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii".

Donna McGarrity of Oahu was at home with her 30-year-old son when they got the alert.

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State officials and the U.S. military's Pacific Command confirmed there was no actual threat to the state, but Hawaiians waited for almost 40 minutes while the agency struggled to retract the warning.

Mrs Anne said she rang the hotel reception who informed her they were getting ready to evacuate.

"I just kind of looked at her and jokingly I told her, you know, hey babes, it was good while it lasted", Joseph Benavides said.

The alert and rush to shelter caused "confusion", McGowan said, particularly for the children in the group.

With missile threats coming from North Korea, he thought the alert was real. Blaming an employee for pushing the wrong button on a computer terminal.

State Governor David Ige apologised and said it was caused by an employee pressing the wrong button, BBC reported.

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He was briefed on the incident by Deputy National Security Adviser Ricky Waddell and later by White House chief of staff John Kelly, in addition to speaking to national security adviser HR McMaster, a White House official said.

Though this false alarm was due to human error, many think an attack can still happen.

Florence native Kelley Choat lives in Hawaii and quickly called her mom after the message was sent out.

"There is no missile threat or danger to the State of Hawaii".

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission announced the agency would be launching a full investigation into how the alert was sent out.

Image: A retraction followed 38 minutes after the alert.

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The U.S. military's Pacific Command and state authorities confirmed that there was no missile threat to Hawaii, which is a chain of islands in the Pacific Ocean, and home to the U.S. Pacific Command.

Other reports by Info About Network

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