The terrifying prospect of a missile headed towards Hawaii was a reality many residents on the island woke up to Saturday morning.
As reported by Slate, numerous individuals were woken up by the message on their iPhones, claiming a ballistic missile was headed their way, with many unsure of what to do besides find shelter or contact loved ones.
However, there were some residents left to receive the news without the convenient use of their phones, as reporter Nick Grube pointed out on Twitter.
“Not everyone got the cell phone alert,” Grube wrote. “If you have an iPhone you might want to check your Notifications settings to make sure you have these turned on.”
Many who didn’t get the alert via their iPhone were still able to receive the message through TV or radio, with the panic lasting nearly 40 minutes. The first alert came in at 8:08 a.m. with the false alarm notice not being announced until 8:45 a.m.
Several videos have been posted to Twitter since the event, showing panicked crowds rushing for cover moments after the first notice.
Other stories and images included children going down into manholes, store owners closing their doors to residents seeking shelter, and people leaving cars by the side of the road.
And, though it goes without saying that residents aren’t hoping to see the message again anytime soon, officials in Hawaii gave a reason for the incident shortly after the false alarm notice was released, merely stating “the wrong button was pushed.”
As the Washington Post reported, an image was issued that “contained a jumble of options,” stating the mistake was made by the errant employee pushing the “PACOM (CDW) – STATE ONLY” button, and not the one below that began with “DRILL.”
Yet, even with the excuse of “human error” many are wondering why it took Hawaii officials so long to clear the initial message, especially when reports state that local police knew about the alert’s falsehood just minutes after its release.
“I wish I could say there was a simple reason for why it took so long to get the correction to the false alert out,” said Hawaii Governor David Ige in a statement. “It is clear that what happened Saturday revealed the need for additional safeguards and improvements to our state.”
The governor added that Brig. Gen. Kenneth S. Hara will be appointed to oversee “a comprehensive review of the state’s emergency management enterprise.”
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