Video shows the horrifying moment when a false ballistic missile threat alert interrupted a soccer game on TV in Hawaii

In this photo provided by the U.S. Navy, Fire Controlman 2nd Class John Whitby, from San Leandro, CA, operates the radar system control in the combat information center during a ballistic missile defense drill February 16, 2008 aboard the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70)

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In this photo provided by the U.S. Navy, Fire Controlman 2nd Class John Whitby, from San Leandro, CA, operates the radar system control in the combat information center during a ballistic missile defense drill February 16, 2008 aboard the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70)
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Michael Hight/US Navy via Getty

  • People in Hawaii woke up to a frightening emergency alert Saturday morning which warned of an impending missile targeting the state. It was a false alarm.
  • The alert interrupted radio and TV stations across the state.
  • Watch the harrowing moment when it disrupted a soccer game.

People in Hawaii were sent into a panic Saturday morning when they received the following emergency alert on their phones: “Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill.”

State officials quickly retracted the warning and clarified that there was no threat to Hawaii. A second alert, which was sent out roughly 45 minutes after the initial one, said the alert had been a false alarm.

The first, erroneous warning was sent out by the Emergency Alert System (EAS), a government program designed to issue threat alerts to Americans during times of national emergency. It interrupted broadcasters on TV and radio as well.

A video posted on Twitter showed the moment the alert aired on TV during a soccer game. As the game unfolded, a red banner began moving across the top of the screen, followed by a long beep. A man’s voice then read the emergency alert out loud and described what Hawaiians could do to seek safety.

“The US Pacific Command has detected a missile threat to Hawaii,” the narrator warned. “A missile may impact on land or sea within minutes. This is not a drill.”

The message went on to say, “If you are indoors, stay indoors. If you are outdoors, seek immediate shelter in a building.”

Watch the video here: