Could Hawaii's Missile Alert Program Have Been Any More Confusing?


The message was sent out just days after an emergency missile text-message alert was accidentally sent to residents in Hawaii, sparking mass panic.

After an erroneous alert went to out residents of the USA state of Hawaii on Saturday - to their smartphones, radios, and televisions - that a ballistic missile was incoming, Japan's state-run NHK broadcaster also sent out its own erroneous alert. Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency has said a worker clicked the wrong item in a drop-down menu and sent it, and that its system was not hacked.

Below, officials say is the new screen grab which "better represents" the design, according to the Civil Beat.

Tension has grown in Japan over North Korean missile tests as they have flown closer to Japanese coasts. The alert also implied that Japan's emergency warning system was activated and urged people to seek shelter.

A spokesman for the Hawaiian agency said in a statement on Sunday that the employee responsible for putting out the false alarm has been "temporarily reassigned".

The erroneous NHK newsflash had been prepared for a possible emergency, the broadcaster said, adding that transmission of an alert usually involves checking by multiple staff members.

"Repeat. False Alarm." The state said it issued the cancellation after getting authorization from FEMA. "No government J alert was issued".

NHK issued another message within minutes calling the alert a mistake.

Questions are being asked all across the country's communications landscape as regulators, emergency managers and broadcasters attempt to figure out how a false emergency alert was sent out to residences of Hawaii through the IPAWS EAS and WEA systems.

"I've often thought what would I say if I only had a few moments to share with a person how to get right with God", he continued.

If the message on your cell phone is real, he says local radio and TV channels will cut in with the alert.

The above photo isn't an actual image of the alert system, but it's an "acceptable representation" of the system released "for security reasons", Richard Rapoza, EMA's public information officer, told the Verge. "We take this responsibility very seriously, and have built in precautions to ensure an accidental alert can not happen".