How easy is it to scare millions of people by just forgetting to label a ballistic missile warning drill with “This is a drill” or just to push the wrong button? Yes, it turns out that pushing the wrong button was the cause of the false alarm in Hawaii today. The system needs to change so that it’s not so easy to make a mistake. The false alarm caused panic and anxiety amongst the people of Hawaii. Can you imagine?
Hawaii News Now reports:
“It’s totally unacceptable,” said U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii. “There was anxiety across the state and it was terrifying. There was a lot of unnecessary pain and anxiety. It’s important to have accountability at the state level and the emergency management level in terms of what exactly what went wrong.”
Gov. David Ige and head of Hawaii’s Emergency Management agency, Vern Miyagi, told Hawaii News Now that the false alert was the result of human error — and boiled down to someone pushing the wrong button!
New York Post reports:
A fake alert of an incoming ballistic missile hit cell phones across Hawaii on Saturday.
Multiple people began tweeting about an emergency alert they received on their cellphones around 1:15 pm Eastern time.
“Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill,” the alert read.
“Did anyone else’s iPhone just tell them there’s a ballistic missile headed for Hawaii and to take cover immediately?” Twitter user @easytga wrote.
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard quickly tweeted to debunk the alert.
“HAWAII – THIS IS A FALSE ALARM. THERE IS NO INCOMING MISSILE TO HAWAII. I HAVE CONFIRMED WITH OFFICIALS THERE IS NO INCOMING MISSILE,” she wrote at 1:19 p.m. Eastern time.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command confirmed there is no danger.
“There is no threat at this time,” Public Affairs Officer Joe Nawrocki said. “We’re actually trying to figure it out right now. We don’t know if it was a test and someone forgot to put, ‘This is a drill.’
EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF IF HAWAII IS ATTACKED: Check out this report from KTLAt:
The state would only have about a 20-minute heads up before a missile launched by Kim Jong Un’s regime hits the islands.
“Pacific Command would take about fives minutes to characterize a launch, where the missile is going, which means the population would have about 15 minutes to take shelter,” said Vern Miyagi, administrator for Hawaii’s Emergency Management Agency. “It’s not much time at all. But it is enough time to give yourself a chance to survive.”
A top South Korean minister said the North may be able to pair a nuclear warhead with a long-range ballistic missile as early as 2018.
“They have been developing their nuclear capabilities faster than expected,” Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon said Tuesday. “We cannot rule out the possibility of North Korea declaring the completion of their nuclear program next year.”
Hawaii’s emergency plan doesn’t call for a mass relocation or evacuation of the islands, because there wouldn’t be enough time with a 20-minute warning. Nor does the plan call for placing people in fallout shelters, because Hawaii’s population has boomed since the 1980s so there are not enough shelters in the state to house everyone; whole neighborhoods are without even a single shelter.
In case of an actual nuclear strike, residents are instructed to go inside and remain sheltered for 14 days or until they are told it’s safe to leave. While in shelter, residents should listen to local AM-FM radio stations for official information.
The emergency management agency estimates 18,000 Hawaiians would be killed during an initial nuclear missile attack.