The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced Saturday that it will begin an investigation into a false alarm from U.S. Pacific Command claiming a ballistic missile was headed to Hawaii.
FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr said in a statement Saturday afternoon that the FCC would fully investigate why the initial message was sent and was left uncorrected for nearly 40 minutes, sending residents into a panic.
"The FCC has begun a full investigation into the FALSE missile alert in Hawaii," Carr said, retweeting a similar message from FCC chief of staff Matthew Berry.
The FCC has begun a full investigation into the FALSE missile alert in Hawaii. https://t.co/1NRw1vgqpn— Brendan Carr (@BrendanCarrFCC) January 13, 2018
Minutes later, an official statement from the FCC's director of media relations confirmed the investigation.
"The FCC is aware of the situation in Hawaii and launching a full investigation into what happened," Brian Hart said in an emailed statement.
An alert Saturday informed Hawaii residents that a ballistic missile threat was inbound to the island state, sending residents into a panic for nearly 40 minutes before a second alert informed residents that the first message had been a false alarm.
Hawaii Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardThe perfect Democratic running mate for DeSantis? Progressives breathe sigh of relief after Afghan withdrawal Hillicon Valley: US has made progress on cyber but more needed, report says | Democrat urges changes for 'problematic' crypto language in infrastructure bill | Facebook may be forced to unwind Giphy acquisition MORE (D) tweeted in the meantime that officials had assured her that the message was 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," she tweeted.
After the all-clear was given, lawmakers began to question how the false alarm occurred, and how it remained uncorrected for so long.
“The people of Hawaii just got a taste of the stark reality of what we face here of a potential nuclear strike on Hawaii," Gabbard said in an interview shortly afterward on CNN.
“This is a real threat facing Hawaii," she said.
"What happened today is totally inexcusable. The whole state was terrified. There needs to be tough and quick accountability and a fixed process," added Hawaii Sen. Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzDemocrats struggle to sell Biden plan amid feuding Emanuel to take hot seat in Senate confirmation hearing Defense & National Security — Military starts giving guidance on COVID-19 vaccine refusals MORE (D) on Twitter.