Hawaiians jarred by false alarm of ballistic missile threat

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A push alert that warned of a ballistic missile heading straight for Hawaii and sent residents into a full-blown panic Saturday was issued by mistake, state emergency officials said.

Some professional golfers taking part in the Sony Open in Honolulu were also caught off guard.

Officials said quickly after that the alert went out by mistake and was a false alarm.

Adnan Mesiwala, a visitor, said he and his family was on the 36th floor of a hotel when they got the alert.

Hawaii, a chain of islands in the Pacific Ocean, has a population of about 1.4 million people, according to the US Census Bureau, and is home to the US Pacific Command, the Navy's Pacific Fleet and other elements of the American military.

People were rightfully concerned, and that likely has to do with growing tensions between the US and North Korea.

He added that the human error happened as shifts were changing.

He says in a statement that the Hawaii House of Representatives will begin an immediate investigation.

He says the agency is trying to determine what happened.

But the alert was followed by statements from Hawaii officials that there were no incoming ballistic missiles.

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Hawaii U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz tweeted the false alarm was "totally inexcusable".

"What the people of Hawaii went through ... is a true realization that they've got 15 minutes to get to shelter or they're going to be dead", Rep. Gabbard told MSNBC. "State of Hawaii will send out a correction message as soon as possible".

Trump is spending the weekend in Florida.

About a half hour later, he read a message from Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, who tweeted an all-caps all-clear even before a new alert was sent saying the first message was false.

"An error was made in emergency management which allowed this false alarm to be sent", Ige said.

The warning came across the Emergency Alert System, which authorities nationwide use to delivery vital emergency information to the public.

The North claims it has a missile capable of "striking the whole" US mainland.

"I woke up and saw a missile warning and thought 'no way.' I thought 'No, this is not happening today,"' Malapit said. "See immediate shelter. This is not a drill", the alert stated.

Hawaii Emergency Management Agency Administrator Vern Miyagi said the error happened when someone pushed the wrong button.