Ballistic missile alert in Hawaii proves to be false alarm

Things in Hawaii are returning to normal after a push alert warning of an incoming ballistic missile was mistakenly sent to residents Saturday morning.

The island was sent into panic Saturday after an emergency alert warned Hawaiians to "SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER".

After Civil Defense officials in Hawaii made "a hell of a mistake to make", by warning of an inbound ballistic missile, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) was interviewed by CNN about what she learned after receiving the false alarm.

Hawaii is considered a vulnerable target because it's on the flight path between the USA mainland and North Korea, which has been conducting intercontinental ballistic missile tests by Kim Jong-un. "I looked online and thought, 'It can't be real.' I put on some music, opening the sliding door and figured there was nothing I can do about a missile. State of Hawaii will send out a correction message as soon as possible", Benham said. It took 38 long minutes before residents in Hawaii received another alert clarifying the that the previous alert was incorrect, and they were not in danger.

Update (3:15pm ET): This post was updated to include details that became available about how the false alarm was triggered.

But the message turned out to be a false alarm, with officials admitting it was sent by mistake.

"It was a procedure that occurs at the change of shifts, where they go through to make sure that the system is working, and an employee pushed the wrong button", Gov. David Ige said, according to Pacific Business News. CBS also reported that a White House official said the alert was "purely a state exercise". "There needs to be tough and quick accountability and a fixed process", the senator wrote.

FCC chairman Ajit Pai says his agency will also investigate how the alert message was sent.

The alert came amid rising tensions between the U.S. and North Korea.

We still have no clear explanation, certainly no good explanation, other than that it was a false alarm.

Vanessa Coleman