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Posted: January 15, 2018

Worker who sent mistaken missile message reassigned

Hawaiian Missile Threat Alert is False Alarm

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By Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

The person who hit the button that sent an emergency alert warning people living in or visiting Hawaii that a ballistic missile was heading to the island state has been reassigned.

Officials have not named the person responsible, but NBC News reported that the person has a new job that is not connected to the emergency alert system.

USAToday reported that the person at the center of the mistaken alert, and who has been reassigned has worked for the agency for a decade. 

“All we will say is that the individual has been temporarily reassigned within our Emergency Operations Center pending the outcome of our internal investigation, and it is currently in a role that does not provide access to the warning system,” Richard Rapoza, a spokesman for Hawaii Emergency Management System told NBC News.

Rapoza did not disclose what the person’s job is.

>>Missile threat alert in Hawaii is false alarm, rattles nerves

The worker ran an internal test Saturday and was supposed to select a template that would have kept the message internally. Instead the person chose the template that sends the message to everyone, CNN reported

The fail-safe for sending a message is a warning that requires the person to confirm the message is to be sent. The person clicked “yes” instead of “no” and sent the message to everyone in Hawaii, including radio and television stations, CNN reported.

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Hawaii has been running siren tests since North Korea announced that it has the capability to hit the U.S. with a missile. The tests have been suspended as officials investigate the message that was sent over the weekend. Officials have also set up a new template for false alarms, CNN reported

Minutes after the alert went out, Hawaiian officials said there was no threat via social media. 

But it took nearly 40 minutes for a second alert to be pushed out to devices through the alert system.


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