Hawaii emergency officials confirmed Saturday evening that an alert about an inbound ballistic missile was a mistake, which a state emergency official attributed to someone pushing the wrong button.
Vern Miyagi, who oversees the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (EMA), said at a news conference late Saturday that while employees were changing shifts earlier in the day and doing a test of their ballistic missile prep checklist, the wrong button was pushed.
Rather than triggering a test of the system, it went into actual event mode. He confirmed that to trigger the alert, there is a two-step process involving only one employee — who both triggers the alarm, then also confirms it.
“There is a screen that says, ‘Are you sure you want to do this?'” Miyagi said. The employee confirmed the alert, inadvertently causing a panic in a state already on edge over saber-rattling missile threats from North Korea.
At about 8:07 a.m. local time, Hawaii citizens received an emergency alert on their phone that read: “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK…