Missile threat alarm awakens Hawaiʻi residents


Photo by screenshot from @HawaiiNewsNow Twitter feed

Hawaiʻi News Now promotes their coverage of the false ballistic threat alarm via Twitter after human error resulted in a statewide alert Saturday, Jan. 13, at 8:07 a.m. HST. State agencies were quickly criticized in the social and mainstream media not only for the error itself, but also for the length of time it took to clear it up and the means by which information was communicated to residents.

On Saturday morning Hawaiʻi residents’ phones went off, alerting them to a ballistic missile threat inbound for Hawaiʻi and it wasn’t a drill.

At 8:07 a.m. Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time (HST), cellphones throughout the state started blaring, and their owners saw this when they reached for their devices:


Hawaii Resident receives missile threat alarm Saturday morning.
Photo by Facebook post
Hawaii Resident receives missile threat alarm Saturday morning.

Hawaiʻi residents were not aware of the false alarm threat until nearly half an hour later when an announcement was made, through phones, assuring the state that it was a false alarm and only a drill.

False Alarm Hawaii Missile Threat
Photo by Courtesy of Facebook
False Alarm Hawaii Missile Threat.
Confirmation of False Alarm
Photo by Courtesy of Facebook
Confirmation of False Alarm

Still later, in social media postings and a press conference with Governor David Ige, Hawaii Emergency Management Agency administrator Vern Miyagi took responsibility for the false alarm saying that staff member “pushed the wrong button.”

Since December 2016, there has been tension between North Korea and the United States with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un testing nuclear weapons. Kim has successfully tested ballistic missiles that can reach not only Hawaiʻi but the U.S. Mainland states.

Since the confirmation that North Korea’s missiles can reach Hawaiʻi in 15-20 minutes, the islands have undergone missile threat drills and guideline standards when the warning alarm goes off.

Hawaiʻi was electric with everyone calling family members and quickly taking shelter. Many residents shut their windows and doors and listened to the radio for further announcements. Agencies with shelters such as Women Helping Women, and the Maui Humane Society gathered supplies and transported those in the shelters to safer grounds.

With Saturday morning filled with scholastic sports, Maui News sports writer Robert Collias reported that he “talked to several officials at swim meet in Kihei. All events on except for paddling that was changed to a practice regatta. Some started a little late.”

Hawaii residents on Hawaii Missile threat.
Photo by Courtesy of Facebook
Hawaii residents on Hawaii Missile threat.

Hawaiʻi residents were still shaken by Saturday morning’s false alarm, but they quickly showed that they haven’t lost their sense of humor.

Vern Miyagi and Family Guy meme
Photo by screenshot from Instagram
Top: HEMA administrator Vern Miyagi to the press, which quickly became a Family Guy meme.

Mindy @Book_Gnome on Twitter was reminded of a famous scene from Guardians of the Galaxy 2:

Baby Groot














In reply to a HEMA tweet @brianplydon retweeted this representation of Hawaiʻi residents who wanted answers: