Wednesday, 18 July, 2018

Hawaii's Missile Alert Was False, But The Threat Isn't Inconceivable

Patty Aguilar | 14 January, 2018, 04:46

Amid months of heightened nuclear tension between the USA and North Korea, the Saturday morning alert that went to cellphones and televisions read: "BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII".

PGA Tour player Colt Knost was in his hotel in Waikiki Beach. She said if there was a threat the United States would notify the government through normal security channels.

Officials said quickly after that the alert went out by mistake and was a false alarm.

Minnesota Public Radio's Brian Bakst was in Maui with his family when they got the alert on their phones and smartwatches. "When the lives of millions are at risk, we must do more than just hope that mistakes won't happen".

With the threat of missiles from North Korea in people's minds, the state reintroduced the Cold War-era warning siren tests last month that drew worldwide attention.

Hospital patients were moved, children were ushered into storm drains for cover and many sent panicked messages to loved ones.

"It was a false alarm based on a human error".

Saiki says the system Hawaii residents have been told to rely on failed miserably.

Saiki says, "Clearly, government agencies are not prepared and lack the capacity to deal with emergency situations".

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Hawaiians woke up to emergency alerts on their phones Saturday about an imminent ballistic missile attack, which they later learned was a false alarm.

"There were sort of various levels of panic so you had people that were scrambling to get in their cars and try and get out and there were people that were running towards the parking garage to try and seek shelter underground", he said. The alert also warned that "this is not a drill".

A Hawaii EMA spokesman also told BuzzFeed News that they were in the process of sending another message to cancel the initial alert.

North Korean President Kim Jong-un has threatened to unleash his country's growing missile weapon capability against USA states or the U.S. territory of Guam, prompting President Donald Trump to threaten tough actions against Pyongyang.

Trump is spending the weekend in Florida.

"Hawaii - this is a false alarm", wrote Democratic Representative Tulsi Gabbard on Twitter. Ige confirmed what Schatz already strongly suspected because of other sources of information available to him - that this was a false alarm.

State civil defense officials "called to let us know it was done in error", he said.

The confirmation that were was no threat came from U.S. Pacific Command. The alert was sent out when an employee mistakenly pressed the "wrong button" during a shift change at Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency, Hawaii Gov. David Ige later said.

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