Last Weekend, Hawaii Went Into Nuclear Panic After Wrong Button Was Pressed
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With the ever-increasing tensions with North Korea in the past few years, many people are already uneasy about the situation as a whole. We all know, or at least hope, that mass scale war or a nuclear strike will never happen but the general feeling most of us hold deep down is still one of fear and anxiety.
Now, imagine getting an official alert from the government urging you to take cover because a nuke is coming your way.
This is precisely what happened in Hawaii on January 13th, 2018. At about 8 a.m. in the morning, a majority of residents of Hawaii got a text message stating, “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.” At this hour, some people were still waking up because of the long weekend while others were up and about doing their morning routines when their phones started going off at the same time.
“Someone clicked the wrong thing on the computer.”-Richard Rapoza | Hawaii Emergency Management Agency
According to various accounts, as you can imagine, people went into panic mode. Fathers and mothers on the road were trying to get to their children while tourists had no idea what was going on as they never got the message and just saw panic in locals’ eyes. As Hawaii has no dedicated nuclear shelters, people were going over best and worst case scenarios in their head.
It took the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency 38 minutes to retract the false alarm by sending a follow-up text message. That’s almost an hour of an entire population of a state having their hearts in their stomachs.
An official investigation has been launched to remedy this from happening again, but the mistake was found immediately. Shifts change three times a day at the Agency, and an employee simply pressed the wrong button when coming into work. This one button sent the mass text that sent hundreds of thousands of people into a panic.