January 14, 2018

False Alarm - Missile toward Hawaii - Emergency employee "feels bad"

False Missile against Hawaii warning - sent to Hawaiian, USA cell phones. More information on sensor or alarm chain of command errors will appear as it becomes available.

From Australia's ABC News January 14, 2018, first details:

[On January 13, 2018 (Hawaii time) a false alarm was sent out to Hawaiian residents and tourists] "Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill."

It might sound like something straight out of a horror movie, but for 38 minutes terrified Hawaiian residents thought the world was going to end.

...Why did it take 38 minutes to correct the error?

Many have been left asking why it took so long for emergency management to reveal it was a false alarm, with some residents only finding out it was sent in error because of a tweet sent in the interim by US Representative Tulsi Gabbard.

A revised alert informing of the "false alarm" did not reach mobile phones until about 40 minutes after the first warning was sent.

Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency administrator Vern Miyagi said "there was no automated way to send a false alarm cancellation".

"We had to initiate a manual process. And that was why it took a while to notify everyone," he told a media conference.

When asked if that was why it took 38 minutes to notify people, he again replied it was due to the "manual process to provide notification on the smartphones and cellphones".

"We did have other notification that occurred much, much sooner than that," he said.

The agency had tweeted there was no threat about 10 minutes after the initial alert, but residents who were not on Twitter did not see the correction.


Reported January 15, 2018


While the message was a false alarm there was one part that was kind of true. It wasn't a drill, it was simply the result of a guy pressing the wrong button.
And that guy, a [Hawaii Emergency Management Agency] employee who was involved in a warning test of the state's emergency alert system — the wireless emergency alert — now "feels terrible".

Hawaii's emergency management administrator Vern T Miyagi yesterday indicated the man responsible was dealing with some deep regret.


Anonymous said...

"we had to initiate a manual process and that is why it took a while?" Clearly the person has no clue how an IP or ATM telephony network work today. How long does it take to type False Alarm and then broadcast it out, unless one is sipping lots of Vodka in between each character.

Anonymous said...

I am in doubt about their excuse that it was a mistake made by human error. They have
been doing this for a long long time and suddenly there is a 'pushed the wrong button' moment.
This has all to do with the tit for tat between NK and the US top dogs. They wanted to seriously check the system to make sure all was in order.
This was a dangerous moment for civilians who might have had a heart attack, panic attack, miscarriage or suicide, vehicle accident rushing home to die with loved ones.
Someone needs to be reassigned .

Peter Coates said...

January 31, 2018 followup report http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-31/hawaii-employee-mistook-drill-for-real-missile-attack/9377518 :

"Hawaii's emergency management leader has resigned after it was revealed the employee who sent a ballistic missile alert earlier this month really believed the state was under attack.

The false alarm went uncorrected for 38 minutes and caused widespread panic across the state.

Hawaii's Governor David Ige had said an employee at the state emergency management agency pushed the "wrong button"...."