Hawaii residents received a terrifying false alarm on Saturday: a ballistic missile was heading their way. The TV alert was particularly unsettling.
The moment the alert interrupted Hawaiin TV was shared on social media not long after it was revealed that no attack was actually coming. At first, the alert was simply a red chyron featuring text scrolling across the screen, but it was quickly joined by a voice recording: "The U.S. Pacific Command has detected a missile threat to Hawaii. A missile may impact on land or sea within minutes. This is not a drill."
"If you are indoors, stay indoors. If you are outdoors, seek immediate shelter in a building. Remain indoors well away from windows. If you are driving, pull safely to the side of the road and seek shelter in a building or lay on the floor. We will announce when the threat has ended. Take immediate action measures. This is not a drill," it added.
Watch the terrifying moment via the tweet below.
Hawaii residents also received the alert by phone, which stated, "Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill." Moments after this was sent, Democratic Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii tweeted that it was a "FALSE ALARM" and there was "NO INCOMING MISSILE."
Commander Dave Benham, a spokesman for the U.S. Pacific Command, also confirmed to Newsweek via email the alert was a false alarm, stating, "[U.S. Pacific Command] has detected no ballistic missile threat to Hawaii. Earlier message was sent in error. State of Hawaii will send out a correction message as soon as possible."
Hawaii has been preparing for a potential attack from North Korea for months amid heightened tensions with the rogue state over its nuclear program. The island state is roughly 4,600 miles from North Korea, making it a relatively natural target.
Kim Jong Un's regime, which is believed to have anywhere between 25 to 60 nuclear weapons, threatened to target the U.S. territory of Guam in 2017 on more than one occasion, prompting Hawaii to take extra measures to ensure it's prepared in the event of an attack. Last month, Hawaii tested its nuclear warning siren for the first time since the Cold War.
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