- A false alarm was pushed to phones in Hawaii Saturday morning that said a ballistic missile was “inbound.”
- It took more than 30 minutes for authorities to correct the mistake and issue a new alert.
- Hawaii Governor David Ige said somebody “pushed the wrong button.”
Panic and confusion in Hawaii lasted more than half an hour Saturday morning, after an alert was pushed to people’s phones warning of an incoming “ballistic missile threat.”
The governor said it happened when an employee pushed the wrong button during a shift change. But the false alarm sparked outrage from local politicians, as it took more than half an hour to correct.
Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz told CNN he was “quite angry” about the incident. He also told CBS News “we’re taking a deep breath knowing that it was a false alarm,” but added on Twitter that the mistake was “totally inexcusable,” and the whole state had been terrified.
Rep Tulsi Gabbard was also on CNN shortly after the mistake happened. She said she was concerned about what might’ve happened to people on the islands if it hadn’t been a false alarm, saying that people would only have about 15 minutes to take shelter if a nuclear weapon was launched from North Korea towards the Aloha state.
“There are no nuclear shelters for people to go running to within 15 minutes. where do they go, what do they do?” Gabbard wondered aloud.
The White House said the President, who is in Florida, was briefed on what happened, and that the mistake was “purely a state exercise.” But Hawaii Governor David Ige said he’d be meeting with federal officials to make sure something like this didn’t happen again.