An emergency alert notification sent out on Saturday claiming a “ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii” was a false alarm caused by an employee pressing the “wrong button” during a shift change, according to Hawaii Gov. David Ige.
“BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL,” the initial emergency alert read.
While the message caused concern on social media, the Hawaii Office of Emergency Management quickly responded on Twitter, saying, “NO missile threat to Hawaii.”
“It was a mistake made during a standard procedure at the change over of a shift and an employee pushed the wrong button,” Gov. David Ige told CNN.
A second emergency alert was sent to phones in Hawaii 38 minutes after the initial message confirming the false alarm.
Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard also posted to Twitter, reassuring citizens that she has confirmed with officials that “there is no incoming missile” and told CNN’s Jake Tapper the alert was “inadvertent.”
Commander David Benham, a spokesman for US Pacific Command confirmed in a statement that there is no threat: “USPACOM has detected no ballistic missile threat to Hawaii,” the statement read. “Earlier message was sent in error. State of Hawaii will send out a correction message as soon as possible.”
White House spokesperson Lindsay Walters referred all questions about the alert to the Department of Defense.
Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz also took to Twitter on Saturday in the wake of the false alarm.
“There is no missile threat,” the Democratic senator tweeted. “It was a false alarm based on a human error. There is nothing more important to Hawaii than professionalizing and fool-proofing this process.”
On Saturday, FCC head Ajit Pai said the department is “launching a full investigation into the false emergency alert that was sent to residents of Hawaii.”