Missile threat alert for Hawaii a false alarm

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Emergency phone lines were reportedly clogged with calls following the alert.

The alert however caused a lot of alarm and fear on social media and in the state.

"One guy said he saw it on TV and hurried his family of six to somewhere", Hoots added.

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The false alarm comes at a time of heightened tension between the United States and North Korea, with both US president Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un issuing provocative statements referencing nuclear war, which made the alert all the more plausible and frightening to people on the ground in Hawaii.

The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency's Twitter account also said "NO missile threat to Hawaii".

The messages appear to have been sent on Apple's emergency message system.

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White House spokesperson Lindsay Walters referred all questions about the alert to the Department of Defense. But officials minutes later tweeted that it was a false alarm.

- Hawaii EMA (@Hawaii_EMA) January 13, 2018State Warning Point has issued a Missile Alert in ERROR! "Repeat. False alarm", the message said.

"There is nothing more important to Hawai'i than professionalizing and fool-proofing this process", Sen. "I went from panic to semi panic and 'Are we sure?'" he said. "We need to get to the bottom of what happened and make sure it never happens again".

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