HONOLULU (AP) — A false alarm that warned of a ballistic missile headed for Hawaii sent the islands into a panic Saturday, with people abandoning cars in a highway and preparing to flee their homes until officials said the cellphone alert was a mistake.
It wasn’t clear exactly what happened — House Speaker Scott Saiki said someone pushed the wrong button, and the White House said the episode was “purely a state exercise.”
But for nearly 40 minutes, it seemed like the world was about to end in Hawaii, an island paradise already jittery over the threat of nuclear-tipped missiles from North Korea.
The head of Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency take responsibility for an error that caused a false ballistic missile alert: "This is my fault, and we will work so this doesn't happen again." https://t.co/BbD5XX8vsr pic.twitter.com/TcTgCAgBSx
— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 13, 2018
— Mikael Thalen (@MikaelThalen) January 13, 2018