‘Is this the end of my life?’: In Hawaii, false missile alert causes mad scramble
For 38 harrowing minutes, residents and tourists in Hawaii were left to believe that missiles were streaming across the sky toward the Pacific island chain after an erroneous alert Saturday morning by the state’s emergency management agency.
The episode underscored the already heightened level of anxiety at the western edge of the United States amid mounting tensions with North Korea over its nuclear arsenal and the menacing social media exchanges between President Trump and its leader, Kim Jong Un.
“Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii,” warned an 8:07 a.m. message transmitted across the state’s cellphone networks. “Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill.”
Only after an inexplicable delay by the state agency – during which residents scrambled to seek shelter and contact relatives – was a subsequent message sent describing the missile warning as a “false alarm.”
The frightening mistake, which Democratic Gov. David Ige later attributed to a state employee’s errant push of a button, prompted outrage and calls for an investigation into how such an error could occur and take so long to correct.
On the island of Oahu, Adam Kurtz of Palolo woke up four min-
A screen shot taken by Hawaiian citizen Alison Teal shows the alert on her mobile phone Saturday.