(ZHE) — Shortly after 8am local time Saturday, Hawaii’s emergency alert system sent out a shocking message to its citizens: “Ballistic Missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek Immediate shelter. This is not a drill.”
The emergency alert was sent to all cellphones and interrupted Hawaiian TV.
The moment the EAS alert interrupted Hawaiian TV is terrifying pic.twitter.com/pVwpCBeRgD
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) January 13, 2018
Hawaii’s Emergency Management Agency quickly responded:
NO missile threat to Hawaii.
— Hawaii EMA (@Hawaii_EMA) January 13, 2018
Hawaii Emergency Management Agency spokesman Richard Repoza confirmed it’s a false alarm. He says the agency is trying to determine what happened.
Tulsi Gabbard quickly took to Twitter to proclaim the emergency alert a false alarm:
HAWAII – THIS IS A FALSE ALARM. THERE IS NO INCOMING MISSILE TO HAWAII. I HAVE CONFIRMED WITH OFFICIALS THERE IS NO INCOMING MISSILE. pic.twitter.com/DxfTXIDOQs
— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) January 13, 2018
Hawaiians on Twitter are not happy about this false alarm and who can blame them.
@MatthewBringas – Fuck u hawaii alert system
@KDombri – This mistake caused me to cry…I had a the best morning until I got this stupid notification
@mastermindhi – Held my babies and prayed
@MichaelRobison – So, is this truly a mistake?!!!?? Sirens are going off and people are in absolute panic….
Hawaii has long been a military defense outpost, sparking fears that North Korea could target the island. The state has been ramping up their preparations in advance for a potential nuclear attack by North Korea.
The Aloha State is currently attempting to educate its 1.4 million residents, as well as its visitors, on how to prepare for a nuclear attack. Hawaii has become one of the first states in the nation to initiate a nuclear preparedness campaign and starting December 1, it will reinstate the “attack warning” siren, which it hasn’t tested since the Cold War. The siren will follow the monthly “attention alert” signal, which warns people of an incoming tsunami or hurricane.
The state has also been holding community meetings and broadcasting public service announcements on TV and the radio to prepare people for a possible attack. Gone are the days of “duck and cover” during the Cold War; today, the mantra is “shelter in place,” preferably in a concrete structure. Officials also recommend having enough food and water to survive for 48 hours and being prepared with supplies to last up to 14 days.
If North Korea launches a missile, officials estimate it would only take 20 minutes to reach its destination. It would take about five minutes for the United States government to determine where the missile is going, which would leave about 12 to 15 minutes to warn the public.
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