Incoming missile threat was a false alarm for Hawaii
WASHINGTON (CNN) — An emergency alert notification sent out on Saturday claiming a “ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii” was a false alarm, according to the Hawaii Office of Emergency Management and a tweet from one of the state’s Democratic congresswomen.
“BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL,” the emergency alert read.
While the message caused concern on social media, the Hawaii Office of Emergency Management quickly responded on Twitter, saying, “NO missile threat to Hawaii.”
Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard also posted to Twitter, reassuring citizens that she has confirmed with officials that “there is no incoming missile” and told CNN’s Jake Tapper the alert was “inadvertent.”
Commander David Benham, a spokesman for US Pacific Command confirmed in a statement that there is no threat: “USPACOM has detected no ballistic missile threat to Hawaii,” the statement read. “Earlier message was sent in error. State of Hawaii will send out a correction message as soon as possible.”
White House spokesperson Lindsay Walters referred all questions about the alert to the Department of Defense.
Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz also took to Twitter on Saturday in the wake of the false alarm.
“There is no missile threat,” the Democratic senator tweeted. “It was a false alarm based on a human error. There is nothing more important to Hawaii than professionalizing and fool-proofing this process.”
Hawaii Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono echoed that point in her own tweet.
“At a time of heightened tensions, we need to make sure all information released to community is accurate,” she wrote. “We need to get to the bottom of what happened and make sure it never happens again.”