Shortly after 8 a.m. local time on Saturday, residents of Hawaii received an alert on their phones telling them that a ballistic missile was inbound, and to take shelter:
"BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL," the alert read in all caps.
According to athlete Emily Batty and others, sirens were blaring — although some on social media claim they didn’t hear any sirens at all. Additionally, tweets have been shared showing an emergency broadcast announcement that allegedly played on television:
The message stated:
The U.S. Pacific Command has detected a missile threat to Hawaii. A missile may impact on land or sea within minutes. This is not a drill. If you are indoors, stay indoors. If you are outdoors, seek immediate shelter in a building. Remain indoors well away from windows. If you are driving, pull safely to the side of the road and seek shelter in a building or lay on the floor. We will announce when the threat has ended. This is not a drill. Take immediate action measures.
Within approximately 15 minutes, Hawaii’s Emergency Management Agency confirmed that the alleged missile threat was a false alarm:
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) also issued a message on social media:
U.S. Pacific Command released a tweet as well:
As of this publication, there’s no word on why the emergency alert system was triggered, whether human or mechanical error was responsible, and what actions will be taken in the future to make sure this doesn’t happen again.