Missile Threat Alert to Hawaii is `False Alarm,' Gabbard Says
Missile Threat Alert to Hawaii is `False Alarm,' Gabbard Says
WARNING This was the warning that was sent to Hawaii residents
14 January, 2018, 04:48
Earlier this year, a false alarm was issued by the U.S. Forces Korea evacuation system as a result of a suspected hack.
A false alarm was broadcast to Hawaii on Saturday warning of an inbound ballistic missile, causing widespread panic.
In a conciliatory news conference later in the day, Hawaii officials apologized for the mistake and vowed to ensure it will never happen again.
J.J. Spaun, meanwhile, said he had taken cover in a hotel basement. Cell phones were overloaded and the Hawaii Emergency Management website appeared to go down.
Some professional golfers taking part in the Sony Open in Honolulu were also caught off guard. "When the lives of millions are at risk, we must do more than just hope that mistakes won't happen". Authorities reportedly took 38 minutes to correct the mistake.
"Clearly, government agencies are not prepared and lack the capacity to deal with emergency situations", he said in a statement.
The alert stirred panic for residents on the island and across social media.
Hawaii State Representative Matt LoPresti, described his family's reaction upon receiving the alert.
"I was awakened by the alert like everyone else here in the state of Hawaii".
White House spokesperson Lindsay Walters referred all questions about the alert to the Department of Defense.
Trump was wrapping up a round of golf at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida when the incident was unfolding.
US military spokesman David Benham said US Pacific Command "has detected no ballistic missile threat to Hawaii". She said she thought the island's air-raid sirens would be blaring in the event of a real missile threat.
"I went from panic to semi-panic and 'Are we sure?'" he said.
Ige says, "The public must have confidence in our emergency alert system".
Tulsi Gabbard also confirmed on Twitter that it was a false alarm.
The state was only able to recall the alert 40 minutes after it was originally dispatched, which left fear-stricken residents in limbo awaiting catastrophe.
The false message sent shockwaves through social media, where Hawaiian inhabitants shared what the moment was like.
Hawaii Gov. David Ige apologized for the "pain and confusion" caused by the alert.
The official all clear on the emergency reverse 911 system was issued about 50 minutes later.
Agency spokesman Richard Repoza confirmed it was a false alarm and the agency is trying to determine what happened.
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.
Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii called the mistaken notification "totally inexcusable", blaming it on "human error".
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Some 40 minutes after the original message was sent, a second alert was pushed to people's phones, declaring a false alarm. At the PGA Tour event on Oahu, Waialae Country Club was largely empty and players were still a few hours from arriving.
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South Korean tech giant Samsung also showcased its own assistant, "Bixby", which is integrated in its 2018 Smart TV. CES is open to members of the technology industry, and attendees must be at least 18 years old.
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