38 minutes of panic: Here’s how people in Hawaii reacted to a false ballistic missile alert
Hawaiians received a false alarm on Saturday warning of an inbound ballistic missile and causing instant, widespread panic.
The alert was apparently caused by an employee at Hawaii’s Emergency Management Agency pushing the wrong button by accident.
A second alert clarifying that there was no missile threat to Hawaii did not come until 38 minutes after the initial false alarm.
Residents and vacationers in Hawaii awoke Saturday morning to a stunning emergency alert blaring across the screens of their smartphones: “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”
There was no missile. The alert was a false alarm, the Hawaii’s US senators said on Twitter as they rushed to tamp down the hysteria that ensued. 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.
But it was 38 minutes before another alert was sent out, clarifying there was “no missile threat or danger to the State of Hawaii.” In those minutes, people in Hawaii, fearing for their lives, sought shelter and contacted their loved ones.
A news anchor from Houston, Texas, who was in Honolulu, tweeted the series of panicked text messages she had received from friends and family.
“My mom and sister were crying,” she tweeted.
This was my phone when I woke up just now. I’m in Honolulu, #Hawaii and my family is on the North Shore. They were hiding in the garage. My mom and sister were crying. It was a false alarm, but betting a lot of people are shaken. @KPRC2 pic.twitter.com/m6EKxH3QqQ
— Sara Donchey (@KPRC2Sara) January 13, 2018
Matt LoPresti, a state representative, told CNN in an emotional interview that he and his family …read more
Source:: Business Insider