“40 Minutes of a Panic Attack”
Residents and tourists in Hawaii were startled as televisions and their phones alerted them to an incoming ballistic missile threat on Saturday. And while news outlets and elected officials advised that the initial warning was a false alarm not long after, it took Hawaii 40 minutes to issue an official correction.
Hawaii correspondent for BuzzFeed News Michelle Broder Van Dyke shared the updated push alert on Twitter:
Finally pic.twitter.com/pEJb3pePhq— Michelle Broder Van Dyke (@michellebvd) January 13, 2018
“BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII,” the initial push alerts read. “SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.” The delay was heavily criticized on Twitter:
Imagine being in Hawaii and thinking you're about to get nuked by the Rocket Man, because your president is an antagonistic psychopath.— Kaiser Von Der KOP II 🇨🇦 (@KVDK97) January 13, 2018
Insane isn’t it?! The government sent an emergency text telling everyone in Hawaii to expect a ballistic missile. Only to send another 40 minutes later saying it was sent in error.— Piers (@P1ers) January 13, 2018
Hawaii’s Emergency Management Agency’s social media account issued only one tweet on the matter on Saturday:
NO missile threat to Hawaii.— Hawaii EMA (@Hawaii_EMA) January 13, 2018
The website for Hawaii’s Department of Defense was also down for a significant amount of time following the initial warning, prompting further criticism:
DoD Hawaii site down pic.twitter.com/Uhde2hF4aw— jordan (@JordanUhl) January 13, 2018
DOD Hawaii site went down too. That's not human error, and merits a real response. So many gov sites, you would think they'd plan for traffic spikes in emergencies.— Yon (Nov 6th | vote.gov) Yonson (@jonathaneugster) January 13, 2018
Can you file a class action lawsuit against the DoD on behalf of all 1.5 million residents of Hawaii? Asking for a friend— jacob (@Jacobplaysdrums) January 13, 2018
Late last year, Hawaii began preparations for a nuclear attack, in part a response to the president’s Twitter tantrums and taunting of North Korea. Donald Trump has not yet issued commentary on today’s scare, only recently returning to Mar-a-Lago from his latest trip to the golf course.
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