An emergency alert was mistakenly sent out to residents of Hawaii telling people to seek shelter from an impending missile attack.

Screenshots bouncing around social media show alerts reading, in all caps "BALLISTIC MISSILE INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL."

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

Hawaii EMA sent a correction notification 38 minutes after sending out its initial message. The follow up message indicated this was a false alarm.

"It's totally unacceptable," said U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii. "There was anxiety across the state and it was terrifying. There was a lot of unnecessary pain and anxiety. It's important to have accountability at the state level and the emergency management level in terms of what exactly what went wrong."

In a news release Governor David Ige sent out a statement saying the cause of the false alarm was still under investigation.


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