The authorities confirmed on Saturday that there was no ballistic missile headed toward Hawaii, minutes after an emergency alert was sent to cellphones there urging people to seek immediate shelter, leading to chaos and confusion.
“BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII,” the alert said. “SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”
A corrected alert was sent out 38 minutes later. “There is no missile threat or danger to the State of Hawaii,” it read. “Repeat. False Alarm.”
Gov. David Y. Ige later told CNN that someone had “pressed the wrong button” during a shift change at the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency.
The episode came at a time of heightened tensions with North Korea, which has said that it has successfully tested ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States.
Representative Tulsi Gabbard, Democrat of Hawaii, tweeted shortly after the first alert was sent that she had confirmed that there was no missile.
Well cool, so the system works, mostly. I bet it's computer-based. I bet we totally don't have to worry about anyone hacking that particular system and using it to maybe, I don't know, do something stupid when we have a guy in the Oval Office with no self-control and a short fuse.
I'm sure it's okay.