FCC and Hawaiian state officials have vowed to investigate a false alarm that said a ballistic missile was headed for the islands on Saturday.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai and Hawaii governor David Ige vowed to investigate a false emergency alert that warned an incoming ballistic missile was on the verge of striking the island Saturday morning.
The mistaken alert, which was attributed human error, warned that a projectile was heading for the Hawaii. The snafu sent panicked residents scrambling to find shelters before they realized the alarm was unwarranted.
Michael Kucharek, a spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defense Command in Colorado Springs, Colorado, said NORAD and the U. S. Northern Command are still trying to verify what happened in Hawaii — but that « NORAD did not see anything that indicated any sort of threat » to the island.
Ige wrote on Twitter that a probe is already underway in the state, involving Hawaii’s Department of Defense and the island’s Emergency Management Agency.
At a federal level, FCC Chariman Ajit Pai also promised « a full investigation into the false emergency alert. »
The state was only able to recall the alert 40 minutes after it was originally dispatched, which left fear-stricken residents in limbo awaiting catastrophe. In the incident’s wake, a battery of officials that included Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, took to social networks to inform Hawaii residents and visitors that the alert was a mistake.
Gabbard, told MSNBC in an interview that she questioned why the error wasn’t corrected more swiftly. « What my family went through and what so many families in Hawaii just went through is a true realization that they have 15 minutes to seek some form of shelter or else they’re dead — gone, » she told the network.