Panic spread through the state of Hawaii on Saturday morning when residents received an alert on their phones warning of a ballistic missile threat that was accidentally sent out by Civil Defense.
Scores of confused residents tweeted screenshots of the warnings after receiving them shortly after 8am local time.
Hawaii is on the flight path between North Korea and the US. Saturday’s warning comes after months of nerve-inducing intercontinental ballistic missile tests by Kim Jong Un.
The alert was written all in block capitals, read: ‘BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII.
‘SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL’.
This was the alert which was issued among residents in Hawaii on Saturday morning which caused panic. Civil Defense later told residents it was a mistake and that someone ‘pushed the wrong buttons’ during a drill
Calls from frightened residents inundated Civil Defense immediately asking for more information or advice.
People who say they got through to the office were then told it was a mistake.
One woman called 911 in panic and said she was told by the operator that staff were performing a drill when ‘someone pushed the wrong buttons’.
‘Called 911…Operator said it’s a drill of Civil Defense Emergency System but someone pushed the wrong buttons..
‘No missile is headed toward the State of Hawaii REPEAT….NO MISSILE IS HEADED TOWARD THE STATE OF HAWAII.’
Frightened residents flooded Civil Defense and 911 with calls and were told it was a mistake. One said the operator told her it was sent out by accident when ‘someone pushed the wrong buttons’ during a Civil Defense Emergency System drill
The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency tweeted this out, 12 minutes after the threat was issued
The Civil Defense phone lines were consistently busy on Saturday and the Department of Defense has not responses to questions on the matter.
The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency tweeted 12 minutes after the alert was issued to say it was a false alarm.
The state’s governor David Ige quickly retweeted the post as did other lawmakers.
They vowed to get to the bottom of how such a colossal error was made.
‘There is no missile threat. It was a false alarm based on a human error.
‘There is nothing more important to Hawai’i than professionalizing and fool-proofing this process.’
Lawmakers were quick to repeat the fact it was a mistake and they vowed to get to the bottom of how the error occurred