Hawaii governor forgot Twitter password to correct false missile alert

Published: Jan. 23, 2018 at 1:05 PM

Allen Cone

Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Because Hawaii Gov. David Ige didn't remember his Twitter password, he wasn't able to immediately get out word that a recent missile alert was a false alarm.

Two minutes after the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency issued the alert at 8:07 a.m. local time on Jan. 13 -- sent to cellphones and broadcast on the airwaves there -- the governor said he learned from a state official a missile wasn't headed their way. The initial alert said: "THIS IS NOT A DRILL.

"I have to confess that I don't know my Twitter account log-ons and the passwords, so certainly that's one of the changes that I've made," Ige told reporters Monday after giving his State of the State address. "I've been putting that on my phone so that we can access the social media directly."

It wasn't until 8:24 a.m. when Ige tweeted: "There is NO missile threat."

And Ige took another six minutes to share on his Facebook page: "NO missile threat to Hawaii. False alarm. We're currently investigating."

The state relayed word on social media about the false report 15 minutes after the false alert. And it wasn't until 38 minutes after the message, the emergency management agency sent out a second alert notifying the public it was a false alarm.

Ige said he immediately called his leadership team at the emergency management agency.

"The focus really was on trying to get as many people informed about the fact that it was a false alert," he said.

Staff members usually post messages on social media on the governor's behalf like other officials.

The governor, who personally apologized for the false message, said arrangements are being taken to ensure that such a false alarm never happens again. A lone employee "pushed the wrong button" during an end-of-shift procedure, Ige said.

The emergency management agency was testing the state's nuclear warning siren system.

People in Hawaii would have only about 20 minutes' notice of an attack from North Korea before a missile would hit the islands.

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