- Hawaii Governor David Ige released a statement apologizing for Saturday’s false missile alert.
- Ige confirmed “steps have been taken” to prevent a similar alert being sent in the future.
- The governor also said the US needs to de-escalate tensions with North Korea.
Hawaii Governor David Ige apologized for the state’s false missile alert, saying it “will never happen again.”
In a press release Sunday evening, Ige issued a lengthy apology for the “unfortunate situation” that “has never happened before and will never happen again.”
“On behalf of the State of Hawai’i, I deeply apologize for this false alert that created stress, anxiety and fear of a crisis in our residents and guests,” Ige said, also apologizing for “any hardship and inconvenience this created for you, your family and loved ones.”
Ige specifically mentioned North Korea in his statement, saying the US needs to de-escalate tensions with the country.
The governor also confirmed that “steps have been taken” by the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency to prevent a similar false alert being sent in the future.
Hawaiians received a text message 0n Saturday morning warning them of an inbound ballistic missile. The alert message read: “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”
A follow-up alert, clarifying there was no threat, was sent out 38 minutes later. But many people were terrified during that time, and some even reached out to loved ones to say goodbye.
Ige previously had said “we definitely need to improve our procedures,” after confirming a staff member had pressed the wrong button by mistake during a shift change.
Read Ige’s message in full:
On Saturday, Hawai’i’s residents and visitors experienced an unfortunate situation that has never happened before and will never happen again – a false alert issued by the Hawai’i Emergency Management Agency that a ballistic missile was on its way to the Hawaiian Islands.
On behalf of the State of Hawai’i, I deeply apologize for this false alert that created stress, anxiety and fear of a crisis in our residents and guests.
I can personally assure each and every resident and visitor that steps have already been taken by the Hawai’i Emergency Management Agency to ensure that a situation of this type never happens again.
The Hawai’i Emergency Management Agency is committed to protecting the people of Hawai’i, and over the past year it has been taking responsible measures to prepare for the highly unlikely event of a missile attack. As a state government, we must learn from this unfortunate error and continue to prepare for any safety threat to Hawai’i’s residents and visitors – whether it is a man-made threat or a natural disaster such as a hurricane or tsunami.
In the next few days, I will continue meeting with our emergency preparedness team and personally talking with families, individuals and leaders from around our state to ensure we reach every household. We must also do what we can to demand peace and a de-escalation of tensions with North Korea.
Again, on behalf of the State of Hawai’i, I apologize for yesterday’s events and any hardship and inconvenience this created for you, your family and loved ones.
Governor, State of Hawai’i