A false missile attack alert sent Hawaiians into panic on Saturday, while others tried to laugh it off on social media.
Hawaiians received an alert via text message on Saturday morning local time saying: “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.” Hawaii Emergency Management Agency sent out a notification about 40 minutes after the false alarm was initially sent saying there was no threat.
This was my phone when I woke up just now. I'm in Honolulu, #Hawaii and my family is on the North Shore. They were hiding in the garage. My mom and sister were crying. It was a false alarm, but betting a lot of people are shaken. @KPRC2 pic.twitter.com/m6EKxH3QqQ
— Sara Donchey (@KPRC2Sara) January 13, 2018
Other officials also told Hawaiians the alert was a false alarm -- but that was after people had already panicked about a possible attack. The National Weather Service said in a statement that the alert was a “test message.”
“U.S. Pacific Command has detected no ballistic missile threat to Hawaii,” defense officials said on Twitter. “Earlier message was sent in error. State of Hawaii will send out a correction message as soon possible.”
Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) said the false alert was based on “human error.”
While the alert was scary to Hawaiians, people on social media poked fun at the situation afterwards, going after Hawaii officials usings GIFS and memes.
Others shared the scary banners on their screens telling them to seek shelter:
People were also furious about getting the false alert that sent people into panic:
For some Hawaiians it was a wake up call: