Hawaii officials stir panic with ‘false alarm’ about missile threat
An emergency alert sent to Hawaiians on Saturday warning that a “ballistic missile threat” was “inbound to Hawaii” was a false alarm, according to the state’s Office of Emergency Management.
The alert, which was pushed to mobile phones at 8:07 a.m. Hawaii time, read “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”
The message caused immediate alarm among residents. Some have warned the state could be a target of an attack against the U.S. by North Korea, given the Hawaiian islands’ location in the Pacific Ocean.
At 8:45, a second message followed, saying, “There is no missile threat or danger to the state of Hawaii. Repeat false alarm.” The second message was not in all-capital letters.
Lawmakers in Hawaii were quick to call for fixes to the system.
HAWAII – THIS IS A FALSE ALARM. THERE IS NO INCOMING MISSILE TO HAWAII. I HAVE CONFIRMED WITH OFFICIALS THERE IS NO INCOMING MISSILE. pic.twitter.com/DxfTXIDOQs
— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) January 13, 2018
An expanded version of this article appears at WSJ.com
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