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    Hawaii ballistic missile alert latest: Employee sent terrifying text message by ‘pressing wrong button during shift change’

    The US military’s Pacific Command said there was no threat to Hawaii after an official message was sent to residents mobile phones, warning them of an imminent ballistic missile attack.
    Against a backdrop of increased tension with North Korea which has said its missiles can reach the US, a message was sent in block capitals: “Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill.”
    The text was sent out by the national Emergency Alert System, designed to allow the US government to warn Americans within 10 minutes of authorities learning of a threat.
    State governor David Ige said it was sent when an employee pushed the wrong button during a shift change, CNN reported, and the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HEMA) later said on Twitter: “NO missile threat to Hawaii.”
    US President Donald Trump was briefed about the incident, as a number of people complained that the authorities had been slow to tell the public there was no threat.
     “The President has been briefed on the state of Hawaii’s emergency management exercise. This was purely a state exercise,” White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said.
    HEMA said it was investigating what had happened.
    “What happened today is totally inexcusable,” added senator Brian Schatz. “The whole state was terrified. There needs to be tough and quick accountability and a fixed process.”
    He added: “There is nothing more important to Hawaii than professionalizing and fool-proofing this process.”
    The state last year reinstated a Second World War-style missile warning system amid fears of an attack by North Korea. The sirens did not sound when the erroneous text alert was issued.
    Tulsi Gabbard, Democratic congresswoman for Hawaii, said she had spoken to officials to confirm there was no threat.
    “Hawaii – this is a false alarm,” she tweeted. “There is no incoming missile to Hawaii. I have confirmed with officials there is no incoming missile.”
    The missile alert caused panic among Hawaiians, who rushed for shelter and called family members to say goodbye before it became clear it was a false alarm.

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