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HONOLULU - Some people in Hawaii received a rude awakening Saturday morning.
At approximately 8:08 a.m. local time, residents received an alert on their phones about a ballistic missile threat. The alert message urged residents to seek immediate shelter and stated that it was not a drill.
AO I JUST GOT AN ALERT THAT THERE IS A BALLISTIC MISSILE TOWARDS HAWAII WHAT pic.twitter.com/TIMLnqmTKS— jayn (@rveIvts) January 13, 2018
Within minutes, Hawaii’s Emergency Management Association announced on Twitter that there was no threat. Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard also confirmed on Twitter that it was a false alarm.
NO missile threat to Hawaii.— Hawaii EMA (@Hawaii_EMA) January 13, 2018
Hawaii’s EMA said that the alert went out in error as part of a drill.
Man at Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency told me: "We're in a process of sending another message to cancel the initial message. It was part of a drill that was going on." https://t.co/2eQ30UQY9e— Amber Jamieson (@ambiej) January 13, 2018
Residents expressed concern about how the false alert was transmitted and the length of time it took to send an updated alert. It took approximately 40 minutes for the corrected alert to go out.
In recent months, North Korea has claimed to possess a ballistic missile that could reach Hawaii and the U.S. mainland.