An emergency alert was sent to residents of Hawaii on Saturday, warning them of an impending ballistic missile strike. The Hawaiian authorities quickly clarified that the warning was a false alarm and investigations of the malfunction are ongoing.
Alert received in Hawaii on Saturday Photo Credit: Twitter
Residents in Hawaii experienced brief moments of panic after people reported they received emergency alerts on their phones warning them of an incoming ballistic missile. “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL,” the alarming message read.
The Hawaii Office of Emergency Management issued a quick response on its Twitter account after the incident. “NO missile threat to Hawaii,” it clarified on Saturday.
The false alarm comes amid growing tensions between the US and North Korea, as the isolated nation boasted it intends to continue developing its intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear program. In his New Year’s address, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un warned the US that the nuclear launch button “is always on his desk.”
“Today’s alert was a false alarm,” wrote Hawaii Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono in a post on her Twitter account. “At a time of heightened tensions, we need to make sure all information released to the community is accurate. We need to get to the bottom of what happened and make sure it never happens again.”