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Hawaii alert: False missile alert sparks panic

BBC News

An incoming missile alert plunged residents of Hawaii into panic on Saturday morning before it was declared to be false.

Mobile phone users received a message saying: “Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill.”

Hawaii Emergency Management Agency later confirmed there was no threat. 

The missile-strike message Hawaiians saw on their phones was a false alarm

The alert system is in place because of the potential proximity of Hawaii to North Korean missiles.

In December, the state tested its nuclear warning siren for the first time since the end of the Cold War.

It is still unclear how the initial mistake was made.

‘Full blown panic’

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser says emergency officials mistakenly sent the message out by text, all in capital letters, at 08:07 (18:07 GMT) before correcting the error by email 18 minutes later.

There was no follow-up mobile text until 38 minutes after the original alert, it said.

In a tweet, the state’s Emergency Management Agency (EMA) said simply: “NO missile threat to Hawaii.”

EMA spokesman Richard Repoza said the agency was trying to determine what had happened, the Associated Press news agency reports.

The agency describes reaction in the state as “full-blown panic”.

Jamie Malapit, owner of a Honolulu hair salon, texted clients to say he was cancelling their appointments and closing his shop for the day, AP reports.

He said he had still been in his bed when his phone started ringing “like crazy”.

Afterwards, he was still “a little freaked out” and feeling paranoid even after hearing it was a false alarm, AP adds.

Map locator

According to the CNBC news channel, the alert “momentarily put recipients into a state of frenzy, with scores reportedly running for shelter”.

The alert came amid a growing threat from North Korea’s missile and nuclear programme. Hawaii is the closest US state to North Korea.

In September Pyongyang carried out its sixth nuclear test.

Last month, the Star-Advertiser also reported that a missile launched from North Korea could strike Hawaii within 20 minutes of launch


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24 Responses to Hawaii alert: False missile alert sparks panic

  1. galen says:

    Person who made error not yet named. May never be.

    Sniffin’ out false-flag possibility? Or psychological warfare?

    Hawaii too strategic a location for them to lose. Pacific Rim. Defense astronomy. Remoteness.

    How did ineptitude ever become the banner of leadership?


    • Koorz says:

      “How did ineptitude ever become the banner of leadership?”

      Look who they ‘lead’?

      • galen says:

        Good point.

        And your post just reminded me that at this particular site, we are often reminded that “lead” has two very distinctly different pronouncements.



      • galen says:

        Wow, Angel, I never saw Chicken Little in this light before. So even back then the machine was churnin’ out its program to steer us here and steer us there. And they used a cartoon, just like they do when they sneak in porn images on kids.

        Well, I caught some hidden symbols: the yellow star, the showers before the cave, Madame Izan (spell it backwards). And then there’s the 3rd syllable in FoxyLOXy. I bet there are more to find. It was kinda fun to look for hidden messages. I felt sorry for Chicken Little. He meant well. I have so many Chicken Littles in my life. Good people who just believe television which aside from distracting them, assures them there’s a terrible enemy out there wanting to harm them. It’s spin, counter spin, spin again, but in the meantime the sky really is falling.


  2. swarley says:

    nOW When the sheeple get a warning or txt message about an upcoming emergency event they will doubt the message.
    “That Hawaii emergency broadcast message was just fake news.”

  3. Norm says:

    It was a very interesting and enlightening morning here on the big island…. Not buying that this false alarm was not immediately cxld…

    Total BS

    Sounds more like a DOD beta test…

    • Hal Apeeno (FEMA Region 8) says:


    • Pat says:

      Just like the EBT card “test”. There is NO SUCH THING as a “glitch” or a “mistake” from these people. They wanted to see what the sheep would do and as one pro golfer idiot said to a reporter,”everybody just stood around and stared at each other. Nobody knew what to do.” And that is exactly what they want.

  4. Bob in Wisconsin says:

    Oh!, I’m sorry! I flipped the Missile alert switch by mistake! It is located right next to the light switch for the office, I hit the wrong one, My Bad!,…sorry

    And guess what the second most reported story on today’s news was….
    Right,… North Korea. I guess they really do think the average person is that dumb…

  5. Hal Apeeno (FEMA Region 8) says:

    I wonder if Mr. Rivero loaded his britches… lol

  6. Peter says:

    ****** NOTE ******* North Korea missle launches…25 so far (?)….have ALL been going STRAIGHT UP hundreds of miles into outer space.
    None have gone ” across ” Japan! MSM only began reporting this tid bit truth about 3 months ago. Lies and half lies of fear and disinformation all the time. Aloha means hello but can also mean good-bye…..1.4 million people live there.

  7. Jolly Roger says:

    “Boy that was fun. Did you see all those people head for their bomb shelters?”

  8. Martist says:

    “Jamie Malapit, owner of a Honolulu hair salon, texted clients to say he was cancelling their appointments and closing his shop for the day, AP reports.

    He said he had still been in his bed when his phone started ringing “like crazy”.

    Do an image search and look at this pansy. It certainly wasn’t his closet he was hiding and out of ALL the people they could interview, this fragile wawa happens to be the one. They never miss an opportunity to throw the “normalcy” of this deviancy in our faces.

    On another note, I agree it is a beta test. Polls couldn’t possibly achieve a real life result. All of the idiots who don’t realize the bogeyman of many faces is brought to you by the same dirty Uncle Sam (USrael).

  9. Scott says:

    With all the ballistic missiles being fired from California the last few years and now this? No mistake.

  10. Ed Teach says:

    Beta test or hack are my guesses.

  11. galen says:

    Here’s a local comment I just came across from Big Island Now:

    Whoever sent the message out this morning must be held accountable! This is a serious incident, even if accidental! People were undoubtedly hurt because of this, and there were probably some fatalities due to heart attacks and traffic accidents. There will be an investigation into what happened, and they will blame a hack, a low-level tech who just made a mistake, or a glitch.

    Whether it was a hack by a malicious actor, intentional or accidental, what you need to be watching now is not the news about the chaos that ensued, but what memos, legislation, policies, etc., are pushed or promoted over the next weeks and months. In the words of Rham Emanuel, “Never let a serious crisis go to waste.” Will we allow this event to initiate the passing of rules and policies that would otherwise not have a chance?

    Even though I rolled over and went back to sleep after I saw the message, it did not mean I wasn’t concerned, but my concern was who sent the message out and why. We will probably never find out the whole story, but I encourage you to be suspicious and pressure our leadership to hold someone accountable. Now that many of you have been really scared for the first time in a while, watch out for what is coming down the pike from your State and local governments. And remember, what was done this morning was wrong, suspicious, and probably constitutes negligent homicide at the very least.


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