Hawaii lawmakers to hold hearing on mistaken missile alert

Vern Miyagi, Administrator, HEMA, left, and Hawaii Gov. David Ige addressed the media Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, during a press conference at the Hawaii Emergency Management Center at Diamond Head Saturday following the false alarm issued of a missile launch on Hawaii. A push alert that warned of an incoming ballistic missile to Hawaii and sent residents into a full-blown panic was a mistake, state emergency officials said. (George F. Lee /The Star-Advertiser via AP)

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii lawmakers are holding a hearing to learn the circumstances of an emergency alert mistakenly sent over the weekend that warned island residents and visitors of a ballistic missile attack.

Gov. David Ige and Hawaii Emergency Management Agency Administrator Vern Miyagi will answer questions at Friday’s hearing.

On Saturday, a state employee mistakenly sent an emergency alert to mobile devices and TV and radio stations warning of an incoming missile strike, causing widespread panic and confusion.

A corrected alert was not sent for nearly 40 minutes because state workers had no prepared message for a false alarm.

Hawaii emergency workers immediately started calling city and county officials to tell them there was no threat. They posted social media messages about 13 minutes after the erroneous warning.

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