Person responsible for mistakenly sending a mass false missile alert in Hawaii “feels terrible”

Written by Annie Coniglio, World News Writer

On Saturday, January 13th, an alert was sent to all the people in Hawaii that states: “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”

Thirty-eights minutes later, another message was sent out by the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency informing people that no lives were in danger. People in Hawaii found out from the governor’s messages on Facebook and Twitter that the alert was sent by mistake. The messages explained “that a flaw in the alert system delayed sending out a cellphone correction.”

The false alert was blamed on human fault. Vern Miyagi, the administrator of Hawaii’s Emergency Management, expressed that the person responsible for the unfortunate event “feels terrible” about the situation. According to the New York Times, the alert was sent out during a “shift change drill that occurs three times a day at the emergency command post…”

The Director of Columbia University’s National Center for Disaster Preparedness, Irwin Redlener, announced that it was a good way to see how the people reacted to this unfortunate event. Numerous people called 911 to ask if they were in a safe location.

Susan Ballard, Honolulu’s Chief of Police, reported that the majority of those calls went unanswered. Redlener publicized that it was a “tremendous teaching moment.”

A few days later in Japan, the NHK news sent out a false alert on a North Korean missile launch. Thankfully, that false alert was corrected within minutes. Redlener told NBC news that “we haven’t had that many false alarms when it comes to nuclear.”