Hawaiians were just starting their day when an emergency alert hit local airwaves around 8 a.m. Saturday morning, warning of an "inbound" ballistic missile threat.
The terrifying moment, captured on camera by one resident of the Aloha State, began circulating on Twitter shortly after U.S. officials confirmed the threat was false.
"A civil authority has issued a civil danger warning for the following counties or areas. Hawaii at 8:07 AM on Jan. 13, 2018," read a scrolling red banner that had appeared at the top of various television stations.
"The U.S. Pacific Command has detected a missile threat to Hawaii. A missile may impact on land or sea within minutes," the emergency alert continued. "If you are indoors, stay indoors. If you are outdoors, seek immediate shelter in a building."
Holy hell this is terrifying.This is the exact moment the Hawaii Emergency Alert System for the Ballistic Missile alert interrupted Hawaiian TV. #Hawaii #BallisticMissle #EAS pic.twitter.com/gzLCBgqHVG— Chris Strider (@stridinstrider) January 13, 2018
The alert warned residents to stay "well away from windows" and "lay on the floor" of their cars if driving.
Cellphones, televisions, and radio stations received the morning emergency alert, which claimed it was not a drill.
Local officials and the U.S. Pacific Command have since confirmed that the emergency alert was sent out in error to residents of the island chain, which recently tested out a Cold War-era nuclear warning siren in response to North Korea's missile and nuclear weapons programs.
Hawaii Gov. David Ige later said the alert was mistakenly sent out when someone "pushed the wrong button" during a staff change.
The Federal Communications Commission is conducting a "full investigation" into the false ballistic missile alert.