The "BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII" emergency alert that rocked the islands early Saturday morning was caused because someone "pushed the wrong button" during an employee shift change.
The U.S. Department of Defense also put out its own message, saying the agency "detected no missile threat to Hawaii".
CBS affiliate KGMB reported people scrambling for shelters and their cars.
The FCC will launch a full investigation into the false missile emergency alert sent to residents of Hawaii today, Ajit Pai, chairman of the FCC has announced.
The message turned out to be a stunning, inexcusable false alarm.
"I HAVE CONFIRMED WITH OFFICIALS THERE IS NO INCOMING MISSILE", she wrote around 12 minutes after the message was sent.
The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency got their tweet out in a relatively timely fashion, though residents who didn't follow the account were left in terror for a while until the official alert went out.
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"NBC News had tweeted that it was an error, that there wasn't actually a missile coming which was a huge relief".
State officials and the USA military's Pacific Command confirmed that there was no actual threat to the state.
Correction messages were later sent out to mobile phones in Hawaii and were broadcast on television via a scrolling red banner that read in part, "There is no missile threat or danger to the State of Hawaii". "The officials that I've spoken to said it was an inadvertent message essentially sent out as a mistake".
"There is nothing more important to Hawai'i than professionalizing and fool-proofing this process", Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii. "There was anxiety across the state and it was terrifying".
"False alarm. But for all the other misfires and rogue sirens here, what does it say that we live in a time where we have to assume it's possible? There needs to be tough and quick accountability and a fixed process".
Given the current state of worldwide relations, particularly with North Korea, it's hard to imagine how a simple human error could have resulted in such a major alert.