Officials in Washington announced Saturday morning that they would endeavor to figure out what exactly caused residents of Hawaii to receive a terrifying false alarm warning of an impending ballistic missile attack.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) was among the lawmakers leading the charge for answers in an incident that resulted in about 35 minutes of outright panic, as Hawaii residents frantically sought information about what was happening and how to stay safe.
“We’re still trying to let people know what happened,” she told Fox News in the wake of the message getting sent out. “We’re trying to get to the bottom of this immediately.”
Later in the day, she took to Twitter to reassure her constituents that they were safe: “Hawaii – this is a false alarm. There is no incoming missile to Hawaii. I have confirmed with officials that there is no incoming missile,” she wrote in uppercase letters.
Navy Cmdr. David Benham of U.S. Pacific Command released a statement stating that the alarm was a simple mistake: “USPACOM has detected no ballistic missile threat to away. Earlier message was sent in error. State of Hawaii will send out a correction message as soon as possible.”
Gabbard took the opportunity to slam the Trump administration for its handling of the conflict with North Korea, noting that Hawaii residents must “live with the reality of this message popping up on their phones” at any time.
“We’ve got to get rid of this threat from North Korea,” she told MSNBC. “We’ve got to achieve peace, not play politics. Because this is literally life and death that is at stake, for the people of Hawaii and the people of this country.”