Earlier today, residents of Hawaii received an emergency alert notification claiming a “ballistic missile threat” was “inbound to Hawaii.” Thankfully, it turned out to be a false alarm.
Mobile phone users received a message saying: “Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill.”
State Governor David Ige apologised to Hawaiians, saying an employee had pressed the wrong button.
The US government announced there would be a full investigation.
A sense of the panic, terror and horror felt by residents can be gleaned from tweets like the following:
BREAKING VIDEO: Footage shows children being placed into storm drains immediately after Emergency Ballistic Missile Warning was sent to residents in Hawaii.pic.twitter.com/GVDyVEARgR
— Jemisha (@JemiSHaaaZzz) January 13, 2018
So sorry for all the people in Hawaii who went through that — we know someone who’s there with her family. Crying in closet texting goodbyes to loved ones, husband shielding their baby. Sounds traumatic. Hang in there, folks.
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) January 13, 2018
This was my phone when I woke up just now. I'm in Honolulu, #Hawaii and my family is on the North Shore. They were hiding in the garage. My mom and sister were crying. It was a false alarm, but betting a lot of people are shaken. @KPRC2 pic.twitter.com/m6EKxH3QqQ
— Sara Donchey (@KPRC2Sara) January 13, 2018
My friend in Hawaii got the alert and had to quickly choose between which members of his family he would spend his last moments on Earth with because they were ALL too far apart from each other. He had to make the difficult choice of going immediately to his youngest children. pic.twitter.com/kid978ROCx
— Gene Park (@GenePark) January 13, 2018
Listening to CNN producer describe getting hustled into a garage on a mil base in Hawaii to "seek cover", children with fingers in their ears waiting. WTFingF. Horrible.
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) January 13, 2018
This is what residents of southern Israeli communities like Sderot experience on a regular basis. Except the alerts are soon followed by real rockets causing real damage, and no-one outside of Israel seems to bat an eyelid.