Hawaiians shaken when ‘Incoming Ballistic Missile’ message, sent erroneously, rocks the island

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Residents on the island of Hawaii were terrified on Saturday when they received emergency alerts on their mobile phones and social media that a ballistic missile was inbound for the state.

“BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII,” it read. “SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”

It took around a half an hour for the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency and Honolulu Department of Emergency Management to announce on Twitter that it was a false alarm.

Hawaiian Democrat Rep. Tulsi Gabbard was 15 minutes quicker with her tweet, in which she assured Hawaiians that there was no missile threat.

“Hawaii — this is a false alarm,” she said. “I have confirmed with officials there is no incoming missile.”

“USPACOM has detected no ballistic missile threat to Hawaii,” a statement from Commander David Benham, a spokesman for US Pacific Command read. “Earlier message was sent in error. State of Hawaii will send out a correction message as soon as possible.”

What is known at this time is that the message was sent as a false alarm by human error, but many questions remain to be answered.