Hawaii officials mistakenly warn of inbound missile

The emergency alert, which was sent to cellphones, said in all caps, "Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill."

Published: 14th January 2018 01:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th January 2018 10:15 AM   |  A+A-

North Korea also successfully flight-tested a pair of intercontinental ballistic missiles in July that analysts say could reach deep into the U.S. mainland when perfected.

Representational image

By Associated Press

HONOLULU: A push alert that warned of an incoming ballistic missile to Hawaii and sent residents into a full-blown panic today was a mistake, state emergency officials said.

The emergency alert, which was sent to cellphones, said in all caps, "Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill." Hawaii Emergency Management Agency spokesman Richard Repoza said it was a false alarm and the agency is trying to determine what happened.

The alert caused a tizzy on the island and across social media.

Jamie Malapit, owner of a Honolulu hair salon, texted his clients that he was cancelling their appointments and was closing his shop for the day. He said he was still in bed when the phone started going off "like crazy." He thought it was a tsunami warning at first.

"I woke up and saw missile warning and thought no way. I thought 'No, this is not happening today,'" Malapit said.

He was still "a little freaked out" and feeling paranoid even after hearing it was a false alarm.

"I went from panic to semi panic and 'Are we sure?'" he said.  

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