Hawaii residents wake up to false alarm of imminent missile attack

But officials soon confirmed that it was a false alarm.

Tusli Gabbard, Democratic Representative for Hawaii, said she spoken to officials to confirm there was not threat. She included a screen grab of the false alarm.

CNN reported that Governor David Ige said it was sent when an employee pushed the wrong button during a shift change.

The New York Times received an emailed statement from Cmdr. And, a minute later, the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency tweeted, "NO missile threat to Hawaii".

The message sent people on the island into a panic before the error was corrected around 20 minutes later.

Still, the false alarm drew swift rebukes from lawmakers in Hawaii, who said that the incident highlighted flaws in the system for pushing out such emergency alerts.

Nearly immediately after the message phone lines were overwhelmed as citizen's called 911, family and government offices.

"The president has been briefed on the state of Hawaii's emergency management exercise".

State Rep. Matt Lopresti said the Legislature would hold a hearing on the false alarm.

The local news stations also didn't have any information, it was through Twitter that Wasylyk initially found out that the incoming missile was a false alarm.

"You might imagine, this startles you first thing in the morning", he said.

People in Hawaii woke up Saturday to emergency alerts sent to their mobile phones and broadcast on radio and TV warning of an imminent ballistic missile attack. We don't know if it was a test and someone forgot to put, 'This is a drill'.

"The officials I've spoken to say that it was an inadvertent message that was sent out. And we'll get to the bottom of that", Gabbard added. The hotel has no procedures or underground shelter.

"Announcements came over the hotel phone speakers saying we needed to stay in our rooms because of a missile threat and it was not a drill". "I am deeply troubled by this misstep that could have had dire consequences".

The false alarm drew widespread condemnation for hurting confidence in emergency warning systems and frightening citizens at a time of tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, which has been testing long-range missiles and nuclear weapons in contravention of worldwide sanctions.

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