In a conciliatory news conference, Ige promised to evaluate the testing system to ensure such a mistake would never happen again.
Today is a day most of us will never forget. A terrifying day when our worst nightmares appeared to become a reality. A day where we frantically grabbed what we could, tried to figure out how and where to shelter and protect ourselves and our ohana, said our “I love yous,”— Governor David Ige (@GovHawaii)January 14, 2018
and prayed for peace.
I know firsthand how today’s false notification affected all of us here in Hawaii, and I am sorry for the pain and confusion it caused. I, too, am extremely upset about this and am doing everything I can to immediately improve our emergency mngment systems— Governor David Ige (@GovHawaii)January 14, 2018
Hawaii Emergency Management Agency Administrator Vern Miyagi said the error happened when someone pushed the wrong button.
Both Miyagi and Ige promised a single person will not be able to make such an error in the future.
Amid months of heightened nuclear tension between the U.S. and North Korea, the Saturday morning alert that went to cellphones and televisions read: "BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL."
HAWAII - THIS IS A FALSE ALARM. THERE IS NO INCOMING MISSILE TO HAWAII. I HAVE CONFIRMED WITH OFFICIALS THERE IS NO INCOMING MISSILE. pic.twitter.com/DxfTXIDOQs— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard)January 13, 2018
The Hawaii Emergency Management agency tweeted that the alert was false within 15 minutes of it being sent out around 8 a.m., but cellphone screenshots show a delay of nearly 40 minutes between the original alert and another declaring it to be a false alarm.
Alarms went off at a crowded gymnastics festival, causing a rush of people trying to get to back rooms.
"I was with my two little girls who are eight and 10 and kids were crying and no body really knew what to do," an attendee told HNN.
Jaime Malapit, owner of a Honolulu hair salon, texted his clients that he was cancelling their appointments and was closing his shop for the day. He said he was still in bed when the phone started going off “like crazy.” He thought it was a tsunami warning at first.
“I woke up and saw missile warning and thought no way. I thought ‘No, this is not happening today,’” Malapit said, adding he was still “a little freaked out” and feeling paranoid even after hearing it was a false alarm.
Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii was angry with the mistake.
"What happened today is totally inexcusable. The whole state was terrified. There needs to be tough and quick accountability and a fixed process."
Honolulu attorney Richard Ing found some humor in the situation but acknowledged there are lessons to be learned.
"I thought to myself, it must be someone’s last day at work or someone got extremely upset at a superior and basically did this as a practical joke," he said. "But I think it’s a very serious problem if it wasn’t that, or even it was, it shows that we have problems in the system that can cause major disruption and panic and anxiety among people in Hawaii."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Source : http://www.wesh.com/article/false-ballistic-missile-alert-goes-out-in-hawaii/15155172