Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen said Saturday’s ballistic missile false alarm in Hawaii should not keep people from trusting government alert systems.
Hawaiians woke up to find an alert on their phones and televisions announcing an incoming ballistic missile Saturday morning. Within minutes, it was revealed the test was sent in error, and Nielsen said people should not disregard future alerts because of this false alarm.
“I would hate for anybody not to abide by alert warnings coming from government systems,” she said. “They can trust government systems, we test them every day. This is a very unfortunate mistake, but these are vital alerts, seconds and minutes can save lives.”
The alert sent people across the island state into shelters, including on military bases on the islands.
It’s the first time such a false alarm has been sent out in recent years and comes at a time of escalating tensions with North Korea, whose leader has threatened to fire a missile at Hawaii and the American territory of Guam.