Senator calls false missile alert 'inexcusable'

The governor of Hawaii has apologised for this morning's false alarm warning of an imminent missile strike saying it was unfortunate and regrettable.

Daul said that because Hawaii started sounding nuclear war sirens at the end of previous year, "It's an unfortunate reality, (but) it didn't feel so much out of the blue this morning", he said.

"I'm sorry for that pain and confusion that anyone might have experienced. I'm extremely angry right now".

"THIS IS NOT A DRILL", read the alert to people's phones, which immediately caused a panic among residents and on social media.

U.S. Pacific Command spokesman Cmdr.

The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency also said on its Twitter account that there is "NO missile threat to Hawaii".

"This is a false alarm but this is also how [accidental] wars start", Jon Wolfsthal, a scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a nuclear nonproliferation expert, posted on Twitter.

"And that lasted for about 20 minutes until finally there were the various tweets and alerts and things to say that it was actually a false alarm so for a period of about 20 minutes there it was a pretty heightened sense of fear and confusion".

Miyagi added, "This is regrettable. This won't happen again".

Residents in the state received emergency alerts on their mobile phones advising them to "seek immediate shelter" from an inbound ballistic missile.

"I was running through all the scenarios in my head, but there was nowhere to go, nowhere to pull over to", he said.

This is breaking news, more information will be provided as forthcoming.

He says that got everyone's attention, but they didn't know what to do. "This was purely a state exercise".

The false alert was reportedly sent out when an employee pressed the wrong button.

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Lawmakers said the error was unacceptable.

Mattis requests probe into Texas shooter's records MORE (D-Hawaii) issued a tweet saying that "there is no incoming missile to Hawaii", saying she had confirmed with officials the alert was a false alarm. He said the whole state was terrified and there needs to be tough and quick accountability and a fixed process.

"What the people of Hawaii went through ... is a true realization that they've got 15 minutes to get to shelter or they're going to be dead", Rep. Gabbard told MSNBC.

'There is no missile threat.

In December, the state launched a campaign to educate the state on what to do if an attack is launched.

The state began testing its nuclear warning system in December, CNN reported.

He dug his phone out and had confirmed he had the same alert. It was back up by about 9:30 a.m.

The emergency alert sent to cellphones said in all caps, "Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii".

Washington Post social media editor Gene Park tweeted out a message from his friend in Hawaii, who said he was in his auto when the alert came and quickly had to decide where to drive out of several locations his family members were spread across, fearing he wouldn't reach them in time.

Hawaii U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz tweeted the false alarm was "totally inexcusable" and was caused by human error.

Gov. David Ige said at a press conference Saturday afternoon that the error happened during a routine procedure that occurs as workers are changing shifts.

"This enormous mistake is unacceptable".

'Called 911.Operator said it's a drill of Civil Defense Emergency System but someone pushed the wrong buttons. Will Espero, in a statement.

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