It took 38 minutes for the Hawaii State Government to tweet an atomic attack on the island was a false alarm. It took another 12 minutes to re-call the panic causing emergency alert shortly after 8 am HST Saturday morning. The original reverse 911 message was popping up on every single mobile phone that tourists and residents were connected to via a Hawaii-based mobile phone tower signal.
For an hour-and-a-half after, literally, everyone in Hawaii was in a state of panic, as no one from the Governor’s office, Emergency Management Services, or the police made any public statement. Most 911 systems appear to still be down. A police officer told eTN the 911 system was never down, however, two eTN editors had reached out to 911 minutes after the alarm and again 30 minutes later when the situation was unclear – and there was no ringtone when calling from both a mobile phone or a home phone. Calls were made from the Oahu Northshore office of eTurboNews.
Hawaii has been mentioned as a target for a possible nuclear threat together with Guam many times, and sending such a message out and not immediately clarifying and retracting this situation shows the level of preparedness this U.S. state civil authorities may be at in order to deal with a serious and threatening situation. Hawaii has a responsibility not only for their residents but also for tens of thousands of tourists from all over the world.
This Saturday morning may have long-lasting effects on the livelihood of the island’s economy- the travel and tourism industry. If a system can make such mistakes of this magnitude, this system needs to change immediately.
The people of Hawaii are waiting for an answer at this time – so are the visitors trying to enjoy the Aloha spirit and came to Hawaii for some harmony and the beautiful sun and beaches.
UPDATE: At 10:07 am HST, Hawaii Governor Ige told citizens someone pushed the wrong button during shift change. He apologized and said he would make sure this can never happen again.
At 10.45 am HST the White House said they had nothing to do with the alarm. It’s not clear if president Trump called anyone in the world to assure leaders this was a mistake. It is clear, President Trump was playing golf in West Palm Beach, Florida.