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“This is not a drill”: Emergency service pings phones to warn of ballistic missile inbound to Hawaii

See this original article here

Sorry for posting this a few minutes late. I had to change my pants after my bowels released.

Amid the usual clatter about sh*tholes and porn stars, this ho-hum tweet floated through my timeline at 1:09 ET.

Was she being pranked? Or pranking everyone else?

Nope. It was happening:

Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill. pic.twitter.com/tlJYNwCr1A

— Ryan Ozawa (@hawaii) January 13, 2018

This Emergency Alert just came to all our phones in Hawaii. No other info coming out and hotel has no shelter. Really hoping it’s a false alarm, but if not – send your best vibes this way. #emergencyalert #hawaii pic.twitter.com/JNvIxjQA5p

— Cori Zarek (@corizarek) January 13, 2018

According to one person, sirens started going off in Hawaii. Just like that, on a lazy Saturday afternoon — nuclear war with North Korea. Civilization as we know it was about to change. Millions, mostly North Koreans, would be dead by the end of the day.

Greg Gutfeld’s wife is in Hawaii today and told him there was indeed mass hysteria at her hotel:

this missile thing – wife at hotel said total hysteria/chaos. families evacuating told to seek a shelter. crying. panic. if it’s an accident, or NOT – we cannot play this down. even a prankster should be put away for years.

— GregGutfeld (@greggutfeld) January 13, 2018

Ten long minutes later came the word: False alarm.

HAWAII – THIS IS A FALSE ALARM. THERE IS NO INCOMING MISSILE TO HAWAII. I HAVE CONFIRMED WITH OFFICIALS THERE IS NO INCOMING MISSILE. pic.twitter.com/DxfTXIDOQs

— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) January 13, 2018

NO missile threat to Hawaii.

— Hawaii EMA (@Hawaii_EMA) January 13, 2018

Here’s what it looked like on Hawaiian television. Having just watched it, I’m now on my third pair of underwear of the day.

The moment the EAS alert interrupted Hawaiian TV is terrifying pic.twitter.com/pVwpCBeRgD

— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) January 13, 2018

How did Hawaiians finally discover that it was a false alarm? Some who weren’t watching social media … didn’t:

My son is still panicked from me waking him and going to the closet. The emergency broadcast was never followed by a false alarm alert. I only found it from Twitter. Incredible incompetence. Scary as hell.

— Mike McIntyre (@mcintyremike) January 13, 2018

The follow-up alert declaring a false alarm reportedly took 40 minutes to deliver.

Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz is blaming “human error” but a security outfit claims to have spoken to someone at NORAD and been told that the alert was, and I quote, “Possibly a hack or a very sick joke.” Possibly a hack? The emergency warning system isn’t hack-proof? If this was a hack, it was basically a “Swatting” except with potential nuclear repercussions.

I’ve been using Twitter for news daily since 2009 and can tell you with total confidence that this is the most frightening thing to happen on social media in that time. I wonder how many Hawaiians will need medical treatment because of it. Whoever screwed up should go to prison.

Update: The panic will have been felt most acutely in Hawaii, of course, but the ripple effect is national.

This was my phone when I woke up just now. I’m in Honolulu, #Hawaii and my family is on the North Shore. They were hiding in the garage. My mom and sister were crying. It was a false alarm, but betting a lot of people are shaken. @KPRC2 pic.twitter.com/m6EKxH3QqQ

— Sara Donchey (@KPRC2Sara) January 13, 2018

Hawaii’s EMA claims it was a test gone bad:

Hawaii’s Emergency Management Agency spokesman said the agency had been performing a standard drill and normally an alert wouldn’t be sent, so they suspect a technical issue occurred: “We have absolutely no indication it was any kind of hacking.”

— Amber Jamieson (@ambiej) January 13, 2018

Two conspiracy theories to look out for today and going forward. One: It was a hack and the feds are playing it off as a botched drill to try to keep the public calm while they try to catch the culprits. Two: There really was a missile and we shot it down. And now, to avert war, the feds are going to play it off as a false alarm. The “real missile” theory is highly unlikely as other countries would have detected it too and news of the launch would have trickled out somehow. But this is what’s going to circulate online.

Update: C’mon.

HI Gov tells CNN “It was a mistake made during a standard procedure at the change over of a shift and an employee pushed the wrong button,”

— Noah Gray (@NoahGrayCNN) January 13, 2018

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