Hawaii officials say 'false alarm' on alert about inbound ballistic missile

Hawaii officials said Saturday that a mobile alert saying a ballistic missile was headed for the state was a "false alarm" after people received the alert detailing an imminent threat. 

Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardGabbard: Trump, Pence 'try to hide the truth' of Saudi-inspired terrorist attacks from Christian supporters 2020 Dems rebuke Trump on Iran, say they'd put US back in nuclear deal New 2020 candidate Moulton on hypothetical Mars invasion: 'I would not build a wall' MORE (D-Hawaii) issued a tweet saying that "there is no incoming missile to Hawaii," saying she had confirmed with officials the alert was a false alarm.

Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency also confirmed on Twitter that there was no threat. Another alert was sent out 38 minutes later calling the initial alert a false alarm.

U.S. Pacific Command spokesman Cmdr. David Benham said in a statement that the military "has detected no ballistic missile threat to Hawaii" and that an "earlier message was sent in error."

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President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats' CNN town halls exposed an extreme agenda Buttigieg says he doubts Sanders can win general election Post-Mueller, Trump has a good story to tell for 2020 MORE was briefed on the situation Saturday afternoon while in Florida for the weekend, the White House said.

"The President has been briefed on the state of Hawaii's emergency management exercise. This was purely a state exercise," White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said.
 
Hawaii lawmakers quickly decried the false alert, with Sens. Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoHillicon Valley: Washington preps for Mueller report | Barr to hold Thursday presser | Lawmakers dive into AI ethics | FCC chair moves to block China Mobile | Dem bill targets 'digital divide' | Microsoft denies request for facial recognition tech Dems introduce bill to tackle 'digital divide' Overnight Energy: Collins receives more donations from Texas oil, gas industry than from Maine residents | Interior chief left meetings off schedule | Omar controversy jeopardizes Ocasio-Cortez trip to coal mine MORE (D-Hawaii) and Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzAnti-smoking advocates question industry motives for backing higher purchasing age Hillicon Valley: Washington preps for Mueller report | Barr to hold Thursday presser | Lawmakers dive into AI ethics | FCC chair moves to block China Mobile | Dem bill targets 'digital divide' | Microsoft denies request for facial recognition tech Lawmakers, tech set for clash over AI MORE (D-Hawaii) calling for changes to ensure similar errors didn't happen again.
 
"What happened today is totally inexcusable. The whole state was terrified. There needs to be tough and quick accountability and a fixed process," Schatz wrote on Twitter.
 
The false alarm comes amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and North Korea over Pyongyang's nuclear program and continued testing of ballistic missiles.
 
“The people of Hawaii just got a taste of the stark reality of what we face here with a potential nuclear strike on Hawaii," Gabbard said during a phone interview Saturday on CNN.

“This is a real threat facing Hawaii,” she added, referencing residents being forced into a situation where they had to rush for cover.

The Hawaii Democrat said officials she spoke with indicated that the initial alert was sent out inadvertently, characterizing it as an accident.

Multiple members of the media and others shared the mobile alert they received Saturday, which warned of an inbound ballistic missile threat and called for people to seek immediate shelter.

 

Updated: 2:58 p.m.