[Ed. – That would, legitimately, scare people to death. We’ll be lucky if no one died of a heart attack in this. Obviously the civil defense alert system needs some work.]
Panic spread through the state of Hawaii on Saturday morning when residents received a phone alert for an ‘inbound ballistic missile threat’ that was accidentally sent out by Civil Defense but which was not corrected for the best part of an hour.
Scores of confused residents tweeted screenshots of the warnings after receiving the alert at 8.07 local time.
It read: ‘BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL’.
A similar message flashed up on local television networks and brought live sports games to a halt.
It was caused by an employee at Civil Defense who ‘pushed the wrong buttons’ during a shift handover.
The mistake was corrected by government agencies on Twitter 12 minutes later but it took 37 minutes for another phone alert to be issued confirming to residents that it was a false alarm.