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false alarm

Message warning people about 'ballistic missile threat' in Hawaii was sent in error

People were told to “seek immediate shelter”.

AN EMERGENCY ALERT telling people in Hawaii to “seek immediate shelter” due to a “ballistic missile threat” was sent in error.

Shortly after the message was circulated, sending many people into a panic, the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency confirmed there was, in fact, no threat.

“Hawaii – this is a false alarm,” wrote Democratic Representative Tulsi Gabbard on Twitter. “I have confirmed with officials there is no incoming missile.”

The emergency alert — which arrived amid tense geopolitical tensions in the region over a possible nuclear threat from North Korea — that some mobile phone users mistakenly received read: “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”

People later received a message telling them it was a “false alarm”.

© AFP 2018, with reporting by Órla Ryan 

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