False alarm fallout: Hawaii lawmakers divided over missile early warning system

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The panic that struck residents and tourists in Hawaii on Saturday morning over the past weekend - owing to a public emergency alert about an incoming ballistic missile that was mistakenly transmitted - could have been easily avoided with the help of good design.

But after just 5 minutes, NHK admitted the alert was sent in error.

Another false alert about a impending missile strike from North Korea was issued Tuesday - this time in Japan.

Days earlier, Hawaii's emergency authorities sent a mistaken warning of a missile attack to mobile phones across the state, triggering mass panic.

"However, when it comes to matters of national security, including whether a ballistic missile has been launched against the United States, one must question whether any state emergency management agency is best suited for that role", the letter says. It advised recipients to take shelter and stressed that "this is not a drill". Human error in carrying out a test warning has been blamed for this, and must be considered for another similar missile false alarm in Japan on Tuesday. "When the lives of millions are at risk, we must do more than just hope that mistakes won't happen".

An employee who sent an erroneous alert warning that a North Korean missile had been fired at Japan meant to file a different news flash, the country's public broadcaster has said.

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The employee, believing the correct selection had been made, then went ahead and clicked "yes" when the system's computer prompt asked whether to proceed, Mr Rapoza said. It was not sent until 38 minutes after the initial alert.

State officials later explained it was a false alarm. "THIS IS NOT A DRILL", the emergency alert read. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said Sunday that Hawaii apparently did not have adequate safeguards in place and that government officials must work to prevent future incidents.

Writing on Twitter, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard was the first to declare that the alert was false at 8:19am.

She also said the Department of Homeland Security is examining how the USA government can quickly verify the accuracy of alerts with agencies such as the Department of Defense.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz met with members of Hawaii's congressional delegation and officials from several federal agencies Wednesday to discuss the issue.

Ige said that he had requested the ability to test the mobile alert system, but the effort had been "blocked nationwide".

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