Senator calls false missile alert 'inexcusable'


Panic spread through the state of Hawaii on Saturday morning when residents received an alert on their phones warning of a ballistic missile threat that was accidentally sent out by Civil Defense.

At 1:20 p.m. ET, Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency tweeted, "NO missile threat to Hawaii".

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard also said on Twitter that she had confirmed with officials that the alert was a false alarm. "There is absolutely no incoming ballistic missile threat to Hawaii right now".

The episode came at a time of heightened tensions with North Korea, which has said that it has successfully tested ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States.

The Pentagon did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The US Federal Communications Commission said is was launching a "full investigation" into the false ballistic missile alert.

The alert stated there was a threat "inbound to Hawaii" and for residents to seek shelter and that "this is not a drill".

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The alert, issued shortly after 8 A.M. local time (1800 GMT), was sent mistakenly some three hours before the start of the third round of the PGA Tour's Sony Open. He said the whole state was terrified and there needs to be tough and quick accountability and a fixed process. "State of Hawaii will send out a correction message as soon as possible".

"What happened was. during shift changes (with) outgoing and incoming staff, somebody selected the wrong item on a computer".

Hawaii's emergency management system does not have this capability on its own and would rely on the military's verification and analysis of the threat, he said. "It was user error", Rapoza said.

"What the people of Hawaii went through ... is a true realization that they've got 15 minutes to get to shelter or they're going to be dead", Rep. Gabbard told MSNBC.

However, a spokesperson for the North American Aerospace Defense Command told BuzzFeed News the incident was a false alarm.

President Donald Trump was said to be at Trump International Golf Course in Florida when the false alert was sent out, but was briefed after the alert sent Hawaiians scrambling for cover.

The incident happened amid high worldwide tensions over North Korea's development of a ballistic nuclear weapon.