Anger is spreading in Hawaii after a Civil Defense bungle on Saturday morning, when a mistaken alert warning of an inbound ballistic missile sent thousands fleeing for shelter.
Panicked Hawaiians ran for their lives and even lowered loved ones through manhole covers after receiving the alert at 8.07am local time.
It read: ‘BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL’.
A similar message flashed up on local television networks and brought live sports games to a halt.
The false alarm was caused by a Hawaii Emergency Management Agency employee who ‘pushed the wrong buttons’ during a shift handover.
Incredibly, officials said the employee who made the mistake wasn’t aware of it until mobile phones in the command center began displaying the alert.
‘This guy feels bad, right. He’s not doing this on purpose – it was a mistake on his part and he feels terrible about it,’ said EMA Administrator Vern Miyagi in a press conference Saturday afternoon.
Miyagi, a retired Army major general, said the employee had been with the agency for ‘a while’ and that he would be ‘counseled and drilled so this never happens again’.
Our IP Address: