Hawaii’s Emergency Management Agency administrator on Saturday took the blame for a false alert warning about an incoming ballistic missile that sent residents scrambling.
“It’s my responsibility, so this would be my fault,” Administrator Vern Miyagi said at a press conference with Hawaii Gov. David Ige (D).
“We’ll take action to prevent this from ever happening again,” Miyagi said.
The agency responded quickly on social media to the false emergency alert Saturday, tweeting that there was “No missile threat to Hawaii.” A second alert correcting the first, however, did not come for 38 minutes.
The emergency official said his agency would work to make sure that, in the future, more than one person is in charge of making the decision to send out the alert.
At the briefing Saturday, Ige said the alert, which was broadcast over radio and television and appeared as an emergency alert message on smartphones, had been accidentally triggered when “an employee pushed the wrong button.”
Upon seeing the emergency alert, Miyagi went to the agency’s 24-hour response center, CNN reported.
Miyagi said he would further investigate the mistake.
Multiple lawmakers have called for officials to be held accountable for the false alert, which sparked confusion across the islands on Saturday.
“What happened today is totally inexcusable. The whole state was terrified. There needs to be tough and quick accountability and a fixed process,” Sen. Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzSenate panel moves forward with bill to roll back Dodd-Frank GOP on verge of opening Arctic refuge to drilling Dems rip GOP over handwritten changes to tax plan MORE (D-Hawaii) tweeted.