Hawaii was sent into panic on Saturday after residents received a push alert on their cell phones warning them that the state was under nuclear attack. It was later confirmed that the message was sent out accidentally after an employee mistakenly pushed the button triggering its release. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said it would be investigating what happened.
The alert, which was sent out at 8:10am local time, read, “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”
While the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency tweeted less than 5 minutes later that the alert was a false alarm, no push alert was sent out to residents for roughly 40 minutes. People on the islands immediately began to panic, attempting to find places to hide and desperately trying to get in contact with loved ones.
This was my phone when I woke up just now. I'm in Honolulu, #Hawaii and my family is on the North Shore. They were hiding in the garage. My mom and sister were crying. It was a false alarm, but betting a lot of people are shaken. @KPRC2 pic.twitter.com/m6EKxH3QqQ
— Sara Donchey (@KPRC2Sara) January 13, 2018
Following the chaos, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr confirmed that an investigation would be opened.
“The FCC has begun a full investigation into the FALSE missile alert in Hawaii,” he tweeted.