Those residing or visiting Hawaii – including many underwater photographers – received a gut-wrenching alert on their phones this morning: “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”
Fortunately, the message has been confirmed as a false alarm by various officials, including the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency. The message is being described as a “drill” or “false alarm,” despite being labeled quite the contrary in the text. As such, it isn’t surprising to see shock, fear and confusion in the responses from those in Hawaii.
An Instagram post from underwater photographer Erin Quigley, who is visiting Hawaii
It took nearly 30 minutes after the initial alert message for officials to confirm that there was, indeed, no threat. It is unclear whether the message being sent was the result of technical error, human error, or more nefarious causes. Investigators hope to have that answer soon and we will provide updates.
Hawaii is a popular destination for scuba diving and underwater photography. As such, our thoughts are with the people of Hawaii and its visitors (especially underwater photographers) who went through such a frightening false alarm.
NO missile threat to Hawaii.— Hawaii EMA (@Hawaii_EMA) January 13, 2018
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