Hawaii's government to implement measures to ensure false alarm doesn't happen again

LED alert that missile threat was false alarm. Twitter photo.

Missile threat alert for Hawaii a false alarm; officials blame employee who pushed 'wrong button'

(CNN) -- An emergency alert notification sent out on Saturday claiming a "ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii" was a false alarm, according to state leaders and emergency officials, who blamed it on an employee who "pushed the wrong button."


While the message caused concern on social media, the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency quickly responded on Twitter, saying, "NO missile threat to Hawaii."

Hawaii Gov. David Ige told CNN that human error caused the alert to go out.

"It was a mistake made during a standard procedure at the change over of a shift, and an employee pushed the wrong button," he said.

The warning went out to television and radio as well as cell phones, Ige added.

State officials said in a news conference Saturday they are currently suspending tests of the system until the investigation is done. They have implemented a two-factor identification in sending alerts and an automated way of notifying the public of a false alarm.

Officials also said they are reviewing why some sirens on the island were triggered by the alert when they shouldn't have been and why some people did not receive the alert to their phones although it was a false alarm.

Longtime LGBT+ Hawaiian resident David Shaw said that he was surprised at how much he maintained his composure. "I was surprised by my lack of fear during the missile alert."

"Missile/mudslide/earthquake/wildfire/murder/disease/accident...it's gonna be something, Shaw said."

Ige apologized for the false alarm and said he understood the gravity of the situation.

"Today is a day that most of us will never forget. A day when many in our community thought our worst nightmare might actually be happening," Ige said, adding "I know first-hand that what happened today was totally unacceptable, and many in our community was deeply affected by this. And I'm sorry for that pain and confusion that anyone might have experienced."

The-CNN-Wire-Zachary Cohen contributed to this article.
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The Gayly 1/15/2018 @ 1:48 p.m. CST