by Mark Molloy, The Telegraph, January 23, 2018
Hawaii’s governor has admitted his response to January's missile false alarm was delayed as a result of him forgetting his Twitter log-in details.
David Ige was informed within two minutes that the text alert sent to all residents on the isolated volcanic archipelago on 13 January had been issued in error and there was no threat.
But it took the politician another 17 minutes to issue a correction and tweet from his personal account “There is NO missile threat” after the message created a whirlwind of panic among residents and tourists in the US state.
The 61-year-old went into more detail about the reasons for his delayed response this week, clarifying that he initially couldn't access his Twitter account.
“I have to confess that I don’t know my Twitter account log-ons and the passwords,” he told reporters. “So certainly that’s one of the changes that I’ve made. I’ve been putting that on my phone so that we can access the social media directly.”
Mr Ige explained he had other priorities immediately after being informed of the error, adding: “I was in the process of making calls to the other leadership team both in Hawaii Emergency Management as well as others.
“The focus really was on trying to get as many people informed about the fact that it was a false alert.”
"BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL," the emergency alert read. Hawaii was sent scrambling after an official alert wrongly warned a ballistic missile was incoming amid heightened tensions between the US and North Korea.
It took authorities almost 40 minutes to alert people via the same system the message was a false alarm after an employee pressed the wrong button at Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency.
“I wish I could say there was a simple reason for why it took so long to get the correction to the false alert out,” Ige later said in a state broadcast address.
Hawaii tested its nuclear attack siren for the first time since the end of the Cold War in December, just days after the hermit state fired a ballistic missile it claimed is “capable of striking anywhere in the US”.