An emergency alert notification sent out on Saturday, January 13, 2018 claiming a “ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii” was a false alarm, according to the Hawaii Office of Emergency Management and a tweet from one of the state’s Democratic congresswomen.
“BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL,” the emergency alert read.
NO missile threat to Hawaii.
— Hawaii EMA (@Hawaii_EMA) January 13, 2018
Hawaii Emergency Management Agency Administrator Vern Miyagi is headed to the agency’s 24-hour operations center to find out why the false alert about a ballistic missile was sent out, according to an email to CNN.
“The warning was a mistake,” Miyagi said.
A second emergency alert was sent to phones in Hawaii 38 minutes after the initial message confirming the false alarm.
Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard also posted to Twitter, reassuring citizens that she has confirmed with officials that “there is no incoming missile” and told CNN’s Jake Tapper the alert was “inadvertent.”
Commander David Benham, a spokesman for US Pacific Command confirmed in a statement that there is no threat: “USPACOM has detected no ballistic missile threat to Hawaii,” the statement read. “Earlier message was sent in error. State of Hawaii will send out a correction message as soon as possible.”
White House spokesperson Lindsay Walters referred all questions about the alert to the Department of Defense.
Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz also took to Twitter on Saturday in the wake of the false alarm.
“There is no missile threat,” the Democratic senator tweeted. “It was a false alarm based on a human error. There is nothing more important to Hawaii than professionalizing and fool-proofing this process.”
Hawaii Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono echoed that point in her own tweet.
“At a time of heightened tensions, we need to make sure all information released to community is accurate,” she wrote. “We need to get to the bottom of what happened and make sure it never happens again.”
Today’s alert was a false alarm. At a time of heightened tensions, we need to make sure all information released to the community is accurate. We need to get to the bottom of what happened and make sure it never happens again.
— Senator Mazie Hirono (@maziehirono) January 13, 2018
Read more at CNN.