HONOLULU: Social media ignited Saturday after apparent screenshots of cell phone emergency alerts warning of a "ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii" began circulating, which officials from the US island state quickly dismissed as "false."
"Hawaii - this is a false alarm," wrote Democratic Representative Tulsi Gabbard on Twitter. "I have confirmed with officials there is no incoming missile." The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency confirmed there is "NO missile threat to Hawaii."
HAWAII - THIS IS A FALSE ALARM. THERE IS NO INCOMING MISSILE. THE ALERT WAS SENT OUT INADVERENTLY. I HAVE SPOKEN TO HAWAII OFFICIALS AND CONFIRMED THERE IS NO THREAT. pic.twitter.com/hwRGct2aTa— Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiPress) January 13, 2018
The emergency alert -- which arrived amid tense geopolitical tensions in the region over a possible nuclear threat from North Korea -- that some cell phone users mistakenly received had read: "BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL."