People in Hawaii were told Saturday morning to take immediate shelter from a ballistic missile attack that was imminent.
They received a emergency alert on their iPhones that read in capital letters: “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT IN BOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.” Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard quickly tweeted that it was a false alarm.
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
But her tweet might not have been sent fast enough, because people were in a state of surprise shortly after the message went through.
One reporter described some of the hysteria that ensued after the message was sent.
“We got alerts on our phone … we opened our sliding glass door to look out onto the beach, we saw probably 10 different families running, not walking, running back to their room,” CNN producer Lorenza Ingram told CNN Saturday.
CNN producer @lorenzaCNN describes receiving the false alarm in Hawaii: “We got alerts on our phone… we opened our sliding glass door to look out onto the beach, we saw probably 10 different families running, not walking, running back to their room.” https://t.co/Ry25OeY38x pic.twitter.com/RPohH8MTkT
— CNN International (@cnni) January 13, 2018
Officials later confirmed the message was sent in error.
“USPACOM has detected no ballistic missile threat to Hawaii. Earlier message was sent in error. State of Hawaii will send out a correction message as soon as possible,” Commander David Benham, a spokesman for US Pacific Command, said in a statement.
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