The Hawaiian government official who mistakenly caused a nuclear missile alert to be sent to the islands' residents over the weekend will not be terminated, CBS news reports. He will, however, be reassigned to a different job.
In case you missed it over the weekend, residents of Hawaii received an emergency warning shortly after 8 a.m. Hawaiian Standard Time on Saturday morning that read, "BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL."
Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill. https://t.co/tlJYNwCr1A— Ryan Ozawa (@Ryan Ozawa)1515867034.0
The air raid sirens did not go off, but panicked Hawaiians were reported to have attempted to seek shelter. Hawaii officials sent out a follow-up emergency alert clarifying that the messsage was a false alarm, but the follow-up was not sent out for about 40 minutes.
What caused this?
Many celebrities immediately took to Twitter to blame President Trump and the federal government for the error, but the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, or HI-EMA, (which is an agency of the Hawaiian state government) took full responsibility for the error.
HI-EMA Administrator Vern Miyagi held a news conference around noon Saturday and declared that the problem was caused by an employee pushing the "wrong button" during a shift change.
According to Miyagi, the button was pushed around 8:07 a.m., and the agency began the recall process around 8:10 a.m., but there was no way for the agency to stop messages that had already been sent out. A command was entered to cancel the message at 8:13 a.m. Hawaii Gov. David Ige (D) tweeted out a message indicating that the alert was cancelled at 8:24 a.m.
According to CBS News, Miyagi and Ige have stated that they are looking to implement procedures that will prevent an error like this from occurring again, by ensuring that two separate users have to approve each ballistic missile alarm. They did confirm that under the current system, there is a warning screen that pops up and asks the user "are you sure you want to do this?"
What is happening to the employee?
Officials told "CBS This Morning" that the employee responsible "feels terrible" about what happened. He is being "welcomed back to work," but not in the same job. The state did not issue further comment as of this morning.
Hawaii officials face widespread criticism over a false alarm that warned the public of an approaching missile atta… https://t.co/UmyWrFDyVE— CBS News (@CBS News)1516017944.0
The Federal Communications Commission, meanwhile, called the error "inexcusable" and has opened an investigation into the false warning.