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Hawaii sends out missile alert by mistake

The missile-strike message Hawaiians saw on their phones was a false alarm

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The message Hawaiians saw on their phones

People across the US state of Hawaii received a text on Saturday morning, warning of an impending missile strike.

It was declared a false alarm shortly afterwards, but not before panic started to spread.

“Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill,” read the message, all in capital letters.

Hawaii Emergency Management Agency later confirmed there was no threat.

In an online statement, Honolulu Police Department said: “State Warning Point has issued a Missile Alert in ERROR! There is NO threat to the State of Hawaii!”

The Honolulu Star said emergency officials had mistakenly sent the message out by text at 08:07 (18:07 GMT) before correcting the error some 20 minutes later. It was unclear how the mistake was made.

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Media captionThe siren has a different tone from a natural disaster warning siren

In December, Hawaii tested its nuclear warning siren for the first time since the end of the Cold War.

It came amid a growing threat from North Korea’s missile and nuclear programme. Hawaii is the closest state to North Korea.

In September Pyongyang carried out its sixth nuclear test.

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