Today, Residents in Hawaii received a false emergency alert stating that a Ballistic Missile was on its way to Hawaii.
According to BBC News, this alert was sent by an emergency alert worker, who accidentally pressed the ‘wrong button’. Nevertheless, this alert caused panic all throughout Hawaii, and the shock caused some people to even have seizures. BBC states that:
Victims of the ordeal spoke of hysteria and panicked evacuations.
The alert system was in place because of Hawaii’s close proximity to North Korean missiles. Although the alert was corrected by email 18 minutes later, it was already too late.
Most people panicked immediately, and ran to bathtubs and manholes, to seek shelter. Others accepted the fact they were about to die and thought staring at the beauty of Hawaii was not a bad way to go. But pretty much everyone was freaking out, trampling each other in an effort to get to safety and shelter. This false alert obviously caused damage, and steps must be taken to ensure this does not happen again. Hawaii was already on edge because of Pyongyang’s sixth nuclear test. Officials say that a missile launched from North Korea could strike Hawaii within 20 minutes of launch.
I think the biggest lasting effect of this can be related to the boy who cried wolf. If these false alerts keep on occurring, at one point, civilians may just ignore the alert, thinking it is fake when the alert is actually genuine.
A genuine government alert makes everyone truly terrified and steps should be taken to ensure emergency alerts are not issued falsely.
The Hawaiian government
Unsurprisingly, the president of the US is under fire because of his lack of comment. Actress Jamie Lee Curtis tweeted
the scare is on YOU Mr Trump… Shame on your hate filled self
Mr. Trump’s supporters defend him, pointing the blame at Hawaii and its Democratic governor.
The Hawaii state officials are apologetic, and officials say they will work to ensure a false alarm never happens again.
Flashback to the Cold War
Hawaii has reintroduced the warning sirens used in the cold war because of the danger of nuclear war. A test reports that 93% of the sirens worked properly, although 12 played the ambulance siren. Hawaii still remains the closest US state to North Korea.