NHK issues false missile alert on heels of Hawaii error

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The erroneous alert has led many residents to make death threats against the agency

"North Korea appears to have launched a missile", the alert said according to Reuters. Japanese residents only had a very brief time to contend with existential questions about how to spend their final moments; the apocalyptic warning was retracted minutes later, CNN reports.

NHK is apologizing after issuing a false alert that said North Korea had probably launched a missile and warned people in Japan to take cover.

The alert was published on the news channel's website and sent to thounsands of people who use the company's news app.

"It caused a wave of panic across the state ― worsened by the 38-minute delay before a correction alert was issued", Pai said in a statement. "No government J alert was issued".

But it took almost 40 minutes for a corrected message to be issued - with Hawaii's governor saying there was no automatic way to cancel the false alarm, meaning it had to be done manually.

It translated to "Ballistic missile threat inbound to "JAPAN".

Some residents went to extreme measures to seek shelter.

"Even though the menu option still required confirmation that the user really wanted to send an alert, that wasn't enough, on this occasion, to prevent the worker from robotically clicking onwards".

The false alarm sparked panic in Honolulu and other major parts of the state
The false alarm sparked panic in Honolulu and other major parts of the state

"The message for us is that Hawaii is a safe and secure destination, and we'll work with our global partners to see that we continue to get that message out", he said.

Mattis also expressed confidence that authorities in Hawaii would fix their warning system after the ensuing distress over the false alert turned to anger.

Time unknown - Deputy National Security Adviser Ricky Waddell, who was the top national security official traveling with Trump in Florida, briefs Trump in person on the false alarm alerts. There was no false alarm button at all. Please disregard.' as soon as the mistake is identified.

Miyagi said the incident is being handled by an investigator.

In the event of a missile launch, the country has an emergency system in place called J-alert, which sends text messages reading: "A missile was reportedly fired".

The computer system that allows the Hawaiian Emergency Management Agency (HEMA) to send emergency alerts asks employees to select the type of alert that they are sending from a drop-down menu.

Rapoza is right, of course, if a little late to the party. Yes, but we need to know what caused the error: in the majority of instances human error is the result of inappropriate design of equipment or procedures.

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