The Speaker of Hawaii’s House of Representatives ripped government agencies on Saturday for their delay in correcting a false alert about a ballistic missile heading toward the state, saying the system “failed miserably.”
Speaker Scott Saiki (D) slammed the response to the false emergency alert and called for steps to be taken to avoid similar situations “that caused wholesale alarm and chaos today.”
“The system we have been told to reply upon failed and failed miserably today,” Saiki said in a statement. “I am deeply troubled by this misstep that could have had dire consequences.”
He said that the Hawaii House of Representatives would investigate the incident, saying that “parents and children panicked” during the time it took for the state to send out a correction.
“Clearly, government agencies are not prepared and lack the capacity to deal with emergency situations,” Saiki said.
Hawaii sent out an false emergency alert to residents warning of an incoming ballistic missile threat. It took officials nearly 40 minutes to issue a correction over the false alarm, though officials tried to correct the alert within minutes on social media.
The Federal Communications Commission said that it has launched an investigation into the incident.