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Hawaii officials say 'false alarm' on alert about inbound ballistic missile

The Hill logo The Hill 1/13/2018 Julia Manchester
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Hawaii officials said Saturday that a mobile alert saying a ballistic missile was headed for the state was a "false alarm" after people received the alert detailing an imminent threat.

Sen. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) issued a tweet saying that "there is no incoming missile to Hawaii," saying she had confirmed with officials the alert was a false alarm.

Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency (EMA) also confirmed on Twitter that there was no threat.

U.S. Pacific Command spokesman Cmdr. David Benham said in a statement that PACOM "has detected no ballistic missile threat to Hawaii" and that an "earlier message was sent in error."

"State of Hawaii will send out a correction message as soon as possible," he said.

Another alert was sent out 38 minutes later calling the initial alert a false alarm.

The false alarm comes amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and North Korea over Pyongyang's nuclear program and continued testing of ballistic missiles.

"The people of Hawaii just got a taste of the stark reality of what we face here of a potential nuclear strike on Hawaii," Gabbard said during a phone interview Saturday on CNN.

a beach with a palm tree in front of a body of water © Provided by The Hill "This is a real threat facing Hawaii," she added, speaking of residents on the island being forced into a situation where they had to rush for cover.

The Hawaii Democrat said officials she spoke with indicated that the initial alert was sent out inadvertently, characterizing it as an accident.

Multiple members of the media and others shared the mobile alert they received Saturday, which warned of an inbound ballistic missile threat and called for people to seek immediate shelter.

Updated: 1:52 p.m.

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