Hawaiians, and 'Triple Frontier' Production, Rattled by Ballistic Missile False Alarm
Hawaiians were awakened on Saturday morning, a little after 8 a.m. local time, by a message on their phone that proclaimed: "Emergency Alert: BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL."
Hawaiians were awakened on Saturday morning, a little after 8 a.m. local time, by a message on their phone that proclaimed: "Emergency Alert: BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL." The alert was issued by mistake, state emergency officials said.
The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency tweeted that there was no threat about 10 minutes later, and a revised push alert stating there was no threat went out sometime after that. Agency spokesman Richard Repoza confirmed it was a false alarm and the agency is trying to determine what happened.
Not surprisingly, the initial alert caused many to panic, including those involved with the production of J.C. Chandor's upcoming action film Triple Frontier, sources close to the production tell The Hollywood Reporter. Chandor could not immediately be reached for comment.
The incident prompted defense agencies including the Pentagon and the U.S. Pacific Command to issue the same statement, that they had "detected no ballistic missile threat to Hawaii."
Jim Carrey was one of many to take to Twitter to say that he "woke up this morning in Hawaii with ten minutes to live."
A U.S. intelligence source closely involved with the situation in Hawaii initially told THR that the alert was not caused by a hacking of Apple or any other phone service, but instead appeared to have emanated from the state emergency service, where human error may have been to blame. Earlier this year, a false alarm was issued by the U.S. Forces Korea evacuation system as a result of a suspected hack.
Later on Saturday, Hawaii Gov. David Ige told CNN an employee "pushed the wrong button" during a shift changeover.
I am meeting this morning with top officials of the State Department of Defense and the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency to determine what caused this morning’s false alarm and to prevent it from happening again.— Governor David Ige (@GovHawaii) January 13, 2018
Michael Kucharek, spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defense Command in Colorado Springs, Colorado, told The Associated Press that NORAD and the U.S. Northern Command were still trying to verify what happened in Hawaii — but that "NORAD did not see anything that indicated any sort of threat to Hawaii." NORAD is a U.S.-Canada joint command that conducts aerospace warning, aerospace control and maritime warning to defend North America.
The false alarm comes at a time of heightened tension between the U.S. and North Korea, with both U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un issuing provocative statements referencing nuclear war, which made the alert all the more plausible and frightening to people on the ground in Hawaii.
The White House said Trump was briefed on the alert and spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said it "was purely a state exercise."
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
HAWAII - THIS IS A FALSE ALARM. THERE IS NO INCOMING MISSILE TO HAWAII. I HAVE CONFIRMED WITH OFFICIALS THERE IS NO INCOMING MISSILE. pic.twitter.com/DxfTXIDOQs— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) January 13, 2018
Jan. 13, 1:50 p.m. Updated with Ige's statement.