False Missile Alert Causes Alarm in Hawaii
Last Saturday morning, Hawaii residents received an alert warning of an incoming ballistic missile. The alert, sent to mobile devices and broadcasted on TV and radio shows, stated in capital letters, “Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill.” Though ultimately proved false, there was a 38-minute delay before the correction to the false emergency alert was issued, causing massive fear and panic across the state. Governor David Ige responded to the false alert, apologizing and explaining that the error was due by a staff member that incorrectly pushed a button during a shift change. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) stated that, in the future, they are making sure Hawaii puts into place the correct controls so a false alarm will be prevented or, if a false alarm does occur, a correction will be sent out to residents immediately rather than after a long delay. Hawaii is the closest US state to North Korea, whose nuclear missiles are said to be able to reach Hawaii. The alert, as well as sirens, were put into place in order to warn of any type of incoming ballistic missile from North Korea. An unanswered question is what happens next after the next alarm goes out.
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Interestingly, just days after Hawaii’s false alarm, Japanese broadcaster NHK issued a false alert stating that North Korea launched a ballistic missile.
Click here to read more about the Japanese false alarm.