HAWAII: False Nuclear Attack Alert Spawns Panic

The New York Times reports:

An early-morning emergency alert mistakenly warning of an incoming ballistic missile attack was dispatched to cellphones across Hawaii early Saturday morning, setting off widespread panic in a state that was already on high emotional alert because of escalating tensions between the United States and North Korea.

Officials recalled the alert about 40 minutes after it was issued in a scramble of confusion over why it happened. Outrage was immediately expressed by state officials and among people who live in what is normally a famously tranquil part of the Pacific.

Officials said the alert resulted from human error and was not the work of hackers or a foreign government. At no time, officials said, was there any indication that a nuclear attack had been launched on the United States. “The public must have confidence in our emergency alert system,” the governor, David Ige said. “I am working to get to the bottom of this so we can prevent an error of this type in the future.”