(Credit: AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
The state of Hawaii faced a terrifying false alarm on Saturday when many citizens received a text message warning them to take shelter because of a ballistic missile threat.
The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency quickly 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, Hawaiin 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.
Finally 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—tweeted about “fake news.”
So much Fake News is being reported. They don’t even try to get it right, or correct it when they are wrong. They promote the Fake Book of a mentally deranged author, who knowingly writes false information. The Mainstream Media is crazed that WE won the election!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 13, 2018
It’s unclear if Trump has actually read the news today. According to the Palm Beach Post, although unconfirmed, Trump was reportedly at Mar-a-Lago this morning and his motorcade was reportedly seen at the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida.
It’s an insensitive and a disgrace not to mention the event considering the panic it caused. One reporter, 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.
This was my phone when I woke up just now. I’m in Honolulu, #Hawaii and my family is on the North Shore. They were hiding in the garage. My mom and sister were crying. It was a false alarm, but betting a lot of people are shaken. @KPRC2 pic.twitter.com/m6EKxH3QqQ
— Sara Donchey (@KPRC2Sara) January 13, 2018
A group of children reportedly ran off a soccer field.
Saw soccer parents running off the field in fear; my boys & nieces are still very shaken. As parents, we could use some advice from the @HIDOE808 & @HawaiiRedCross as we talk to our children about what happened. Suggestions anyone?
— Jill N. Tokuda (@jilltokuda) January 13, 2018
Actress Jamie Lee Curtis tweeted in outrage, suggesting …read more