The alert urged residents to take shelter, and said the alert was not a drill. Repeating, the Warning Message received this morning DOES NOT DEPICT A REAL MISSILE THREAT.
Hawaii News Now reported that the alert "sent people scrambling for shelters and their cars, and online for additional news".
Another Civil Defense message, reassuring Hawaiians that the original alert was in fact false, has reportedly only reached some citizens after long delays, apparently due to the strain the event has put on local phone lines.
A spokeswoman for U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard said she checked with the state agency that issued the alert and was told it was sent in error.
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The messages appear to have been sent on Apple's emergency message system. And, a minute later, the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency tweeted, "NO missile threat to Hawaii". But officials minutes later tweeted that it was a false alarm.
A video of a television soccer match showed what the alert looked and sounded like scrolling across the screen. We're trying to figure out where this came from or how this started.
A Hawaii EMA spokesman also told BuzzFeed News that they were in the process of sending another message to cancel the initial alert.
"There is no missile threat or danger to the State of Hawaii". "I asked a managerial type near the lobby where we should go and he said we could all go to the banquet hall he was in". "It was a false alarm based on a human error".