Missile alert sent to Hawaii residents by mistake, officials say

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Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed

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 alert stated there was a threat "inbound to Hawaii" and for residents to seek shelter and that "this is not a drill".

"While I am thankful this morning's alert was a false alarm, the public must have confidence in our emergency alert system", Ige said in a statement just emailed to reporters.

Hawaii News Now reported that the alert "sent people scrambling for shelters and their cars, and online for additional news".

The emergency sent to mobile phones warned, in capital letters: "Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Last fall, Hawaii started having drills, but no staff told us this". "State of Hawaii will send out a correction message as soon as possible", Benham said.

An officer in the Hickam-based 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command confirmed there was never a threat. "I asked a managerial type near the lobby where we should go and he said we could all go to the banquet hall he was in".

An Assistant news director with KHOU, TEGNA's Houston station, was in Hawaii at the time of the false alarm and said they were initially told to stay in their hotel rooms.

Ms Gabbard then tweeted to Hawaii, in all-caps: "There is no incoming missile to Hawaii".

The incident occurred amid high tensions internationally over North Korea's development of a ballistic nuclear weapon.

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