A False Missile Strike Alarm Just Scared the Hell Out of Everyone in Hawaii
“This is not a drill.”
— Amichai Stein (@AmichaiStein1) January 13, 2018
On Saturday a state employee in Hawaii screwed up, big time. Instead of triggering a missile warning drill, someone triggered a real, straight-up ballistic missile alarm.
Hawaiians suddenly believed they were in the crosshairs of North Korean ICBM, that perhaps Kim Jong-Un had finally truly lost it and was ready to pull his own version of Pearl Harbor. The video above illustrates just how terrifying the moment must have been, as parents can be seen slipping children into storm drains for safety, Pennywise be damned.
Governor David Ige told CNN the error occurred during a shift change. Someone basically just “pushed the wrong button.”
JUST IN: Hawaii Governor David Ige tells CNN that someone "pushed the wrong button" during an employee shift change, sending out the false alert about an incoming ballistic missile https://t.co/FD1vl6fCzh pic.twitter.com/2zhXLApLcr
— CNN (@CNN) January 13, 2018
In an official statement Ige said that though he was “thankful” the alarm was an error, he was “working to get to the bottom of” the incident to “prevent an error of this type in the future.
Hawaiians certainly hope so. Social media reactions tell the story as well as anything.
The emergency alert claiming a ballistic missile attack was inbound was sent at 8:08AM. It took until 8:45AM to state it was a false alarm. 37 minutes where anyone in Hawaii who doesn’t sit on Twitter dot com all day thought their island might be incinerated. Fire people. Fix it. pic.twitter.com/hhCIrNLg1D
— Jerry Dunleavy (@JerryDunleavy) January 13, 2018
One day this phone call will be made over an accidental missile strike.
The false alarm in Hawaii should be a warning to us all.
We are living in the world of Dr. Strangelove and if you don't know the movie, it doesn't end well. https://t.co/QglioPxm3M
— Ted Corcoran (RedTRaccoon) (@RedTRaccoon) January 13, 2018
— Mediaite (@Mediaite) January 13, 2018
— Eli@BizAvJets (@bizavjets) January 13, 2018
Oh yea sorry we just sent the ballistic missile threat by mistake. Hank was high and hit the wrong button. Ha. What’re you gonna do?! That’s ole Hank.
— eddie pepitone (@eddiepepitone) January 13, 2018
The panic was real. In addition to desperate measures like slipping kids into storm drains, businesses kicked people to the curb, and there were social media reports of tourists in a blind panic at various hotels.
Fortunately, it was all just a big screw-up in the end.
Let’s hope it wasn’t also a full-on dress rehearsal for the real thing one day.