Pearl Harbour Memorial sightseers were panicked on Saturday as they watched a documentary video of the 1941 attack when their phones went off during a statewide false alarm.
Early that morning, the accidental emergency missile alert was issued that read: ‘Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill.’
Panic broke out in the auditorium while visitors were gathered to reflect on the Japanese military strike from 76 years ago – just weeks after the December 7 anniversary of the attack.
One man inside the auditorium captured a video from the inside, and says visitors were frightened and utterly confused
Luckily, within the hour, emergency personnel confirmed the alert had been sent in error from one of the
Hawaii Gov. David Ige issued a statement hours later to apologize about the serious matter.
‘I know firsthand that what happened today is totally unacceptable, and many in our community were deeply affected by this,’ Ige announced in a news conference.
‘I’m sorry for that pain and confusion that anyone might have experienced. I, too, am very angry and disappointed that this happened.’
According to Hawaii News Now, dispatchers answered roughly ‘3,000 calls before the alert was canceled,’ Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard said of the shock.
Residents were forced to temporarily take shelter while flights were delayed and traffic stalled.
‘It’s totally unacceptable… there was anxiety across the state and it was terrifying. There was a lot of unnecessary pain and anxiety,’ said U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii.
‘It’s important to have accountability at the state level and the emergency management level in terms of what exactly what went wrong.’