The state of Hawaii faced a terrifying false alarm on Saturday when many residents received a text message warning them to take shelter because of a ballistic missile threat.
The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency confirmed on Twitter that there was no immediate threat. According to the New York Times, it was caused by human error—not hackers or a foreign government. Richard Rapoza, a spokesman for the agency, told the New York Times, “someone clicked the wrong thing on the computer.” He added that “it was erroneous” and that it happened during a “shift-change drill.” Hawaii Governor David Ige said in a news conference that alert procedures will be changed to prevent something like this from happening again.
After the false alarm, Hawaiian lawmakers tweeted about the event, noting the seriousness of it, and explaining how a false alarm of this nature is unacceptable—especially in a time of heightened tensions between the U.S. and North Korea. Democratic Senator Brian Schatz called it “totally inexcusable.” Senator Mazie K. Hirono urged officials to get to the bottom of what happened.
The President of the United States, Donald Trump— who has lashed out at Pyongyang leader Kim Jong-un multiple times on Twitter with threats and disconcerting rhetoric—has only tweeted about “fake news" since the news.
It’s unclear if Trump has read the news today. According to the Palm Beach Post, although unconfirmed, Trump was reportedly at Mar-a-Lago on Saturday morning. His motorcade was reportedly seen at the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida, too.
It's insensitive not mention the event considering the terror and panic it caused. Sara Donchey, who is a news anchor at KPRC2 in Houston—but currently in Honolulu—shared messages she received following the alert, noting her family members, who were also in Hawaii, were hiding in a garage after receiving the alert.
According to another observer on Twitter, people reportedly ran off a soccer field.
Actress Jamie Lee Curtis tweeted in outrage, suggesting Trump should take responsibility for the false alarm (before Trump tweeted about fake news).
According to Ajit Pai, the Federal Communications Commission will be launching a full investigation into what happened.