Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard said she confirmed there was no missile with officials.
- Michelle Broder Van Dyke (@michellebvd) January 13, 2018NO missile threat to Hawaii. "I repeat, there is NO THREAT at this time".
Another Civil Defense message, reassuring Hawaiians that the original alert was in fact false, has reportedly only reached some citizens after long delays, apparently due to the strain the event has put on local phone lines. Friends and family began to message one another asking if the alert was real.
Gabbard told CNN on Saturday that the phone went to every phone in Hawaii.
"What happened today was totally inexcusable", said Sen. "The whole state was terrified".
Officials said quickly after that the alert went out by mistake and was a false alarm.
The Hawaii Emergency Management agency confirmed the alert was false and that there would be an investigation to learn how it was sent out. "There needs to be tough and quick accountability and a fixed process".
The alert sent people scrambling for shelters and their cars, and online for additional news.
An Assistant news director with KHOU, TEGNA's Houston station, was in Hawaii at the time of the false alarm and said they were initially told to stay in their hotel rooms. Authorities in the state have been preparing for a worse-case attack scenario since July, and residents would have around 15 minutes to seek shelter in case of a nuclear missile attack from North Korea.