A text alert warning people in Hawaii to seek immediate shelter from an incoming ballistic missile was a false alarm, the state’s emergency management agency has said.
The message, issued to mobile phones on Saturday morning, read in block capitals: “Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill.”
The text was sent out by the national Emergency Alert System, designed to allow the US government to warn Americans within 10 minutes of authorities learning of a threat.
The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency confirmed the false alarm on social media shortly after the alert was issued.
It said: ”NO missile threat to Hawaii. False alarm. We’re currently investigating.”
Tusli Gabbard, Democratic Representative for Hawaii, said she spoken to officials to confirm there was not threat.
“Hawaii – this is a false alarm,” she tweeted. “There is no incoming missile to Hawaii. I have confirmed with officials there is no incoming missile.”
Brain Schatz, a US Senator for Hawaii, said the text was sent due to “human error”.
“There is nothing more important to Hawaii than professionalizing and fool-proofing this process,” he added.