FCC: Hawaii's false missile alert sent by a confused worker

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In addition, officials have agreed that going forward a second person will be needed to confirm sending out alerts.

The employee is now refusing to cooperate with the FCC investigation into the incident, though the agency was given a written statement from the employee from the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency.

State emergency officials have since revised their polices so that surprise drills for employees are prescheduled with their supervisors and that two officers are now required in order to send an alert, not just one.

"He is unable to comprehend the situation at hand and has confused real life events and drills on at least two separate occasions", the report said. One was related to a fire and another to a tsunami.

The supervisor played a recording that included the drill language of "exercise, exercise, exercise". The recording began by saying "exercise, exercise, exercise", language that is consistent with the beginning of the script for the drill.

The fired employee said he did not hear the "exercise, exercise, exercise" part of the message and believed the threat was real, according to the employee's statement. Gen. Kenneth Hara, Hawaii's deputy adjutant general, to review emergency management protocol and to institute reforms. Clairmont resigned on Friday.

"While other warning officers understand that this is a drill, the warning officer at the alert origination terminal claimed to believe, in a written statement provided to HI-EMA [Emergency Management Agency] that this was a real emergency, not a drill", the FCC said.

A corrected alert was not sent to mobile devices for almost 40 minutes because state workers had no prepared message for a false alarm.

"At no point did Employee 1 assist in the process".

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The report was released by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Tuesday.

The false warning blasted out to cellphones across Hawaii on January 13 had somber consequences, sending waves of panic across the state at a time of heightened tensions with North Korea and renewed fears of nuclear attacks.

The employee who sent out the alert warning "Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii".

FCC said it will continue its investigation and issue a final report, including recommended measures to safeguard against false alerts and to mitigate their harmful effects if they do occur.

Authorities realized their mistake within three minutes of the alert's publication.

Earlier this month, an official in Hawaii mistakenly warned millions of people about an incoming ballistic missile, causing widespread panic. So the agency can't "fully evaluate the credibility of their assertion". Later, another employee took over the computer and sent the correction because the worker "seemed confused".

The FCC has pointed out that there was a "lack of preparation" on how to deal with a false alarm and that there were "inadequate safeguards" for false alerts.

The official whose identity remains unknown, was temporarily reassigned after the incident, but has now been fired from the agency by state officials.

Furthermore, despite being notified at 8:07 a.m., Hawaii Governor David Ige was not able to retweet a message from the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency until 8:24 a.m., because - as he later admitted - he had forgotten his Twitter password.