Hawaiians were sent into a panic on Saturday after a false alert claimed of which a ballistic missile was heading for the islands.
The alert was sent out due to human error, Hawaii Gov. David Ige told CNN.
“the idea was a mistake made during a standard procedure at the change over of a shift along with an employee pushed the wrong button,” Gov. Ige said. “The warning went out to cell phones, television along with radio got the emergency alert.”
Around 1 p.m. ET, social media lit up with Hawaiian residents along with visitors who received cellphone alerts warning of which a projectile was heading for the island. The message, which was transmitted by the Civil Defense department, was accompanied by an ominous warning of which the alarm was “not a drill.”
The erroneous alert sent recipients into a state of frenzy, with scores reportedly running for shelter along with taking cover, until Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard debunked the alert as a false alarm. Hawaiian officials, as well as the U.S. Pacific Command, followed suit nevertheless not until nearly 40 minutes later.
“State Warning Point has issued a Missile Alert in ERROR! There is usually NO threat to the State of Hawaii,” U.S. Pacific Command’s David Benham said in a statement.
Michael Kucharek, spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defense Command in Colorado Springs, Colorado, said NORAD along with the U.S. Northern Command are still trying to verify what happened in Hawaii — nevertheless of which “NORAD did not see anything of which indicated any sort of threat” to the island.
“by a NORAD perspective along with of which of the U.S. Northern Command, we are still trying to verify what happened,” he said of the false alert.
NORAD is usually a U.S.-Canada joint command of which conducts aerospace warning, aerospace control along with maritime warning to defend North America. The U.S. Northern Command, also based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is usually tasked with air, land along with sea defense of the continental United States, Alaska, Canada, Mexico along with portions of the Caribbean.
President Donald Trump was said to be at Trump International Golf Course in Florida when the false alert was sent out, nevertheless was briefed after the alert sent Hawaiians scrambling for cover.
“The President has been briefed on the state of Hawaii’s emergency management exercise. This kind of was purely a state exercise,” White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said.
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission confirmed to NBC News of which the idea’s launching an investigation into the false emergency alert.