Local man recounts panic after false missile alert in Hawaii


The message was not only sent to cellphones, it was also broadcasted on the radio and TV.

Kelowna resident Renee Wasylyk was enjoying breakfast near Poipu Beach this morning when a high-pitched buzz from her cell phone alerted her, and others around her, to an incoming "ballistic missile threat". "THIS IS NOT A DRILL" the message read. It wasn't until nearly 40 minutes later that a correction cancelling the false alarm was sent to mobile phones.

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr said the bureau has launched a full investigation into the false alert. "We just started praying, and forwarded the text to our older daughter in Oklahoma so she could be praying".

The Hawaiian Emergency Management Agency later said that it accidentally sent the alert by pushing a wrong button.

David Ige, the governor of Hawaii, told CNN, said: 'It was a mistake made at the change over of a shift. They are calling for more answers as to how this message could have been sent in the first place. "Waking up to an alert saying there was a missile heading towards Hawaii (while I'm in Hawaii) was honestly the scariest moment I have ever experienced", one Twitter user wrote.

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That's twice as long as it would have taken for a missile to reach the North Pacific chain of islands, from North Korea. There is no ballistic missile inbound to Hawaii. It took EMA about 38 minutes to send out a phone alert saying the whole thing was an error.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) tweeted that there was no incoming missile.

Bryce Blay is vacationing on the island of Oahu with his fiance and says he was lying in bed, playing on his phone, when the alert popped up. The White House, commenting on the incident, said it was a state exercise and people had no reason to worry.

In a news conference Saturday, Ige promised to evaluate the testing system to ensure such a mistake would never happen again.