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On this day 4 years ago, a false missile alert threw Hawaii into panic

Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 2:52 PM HST|Updated: Jan. 13, 2022 at 2:55 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Four years ago Thursday, on Jan. 13, 2018, Hawaii residents and visitors were thrown into a panic when a terrifying emergency alert was sent to their cell phones.

“BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER,” the alert read. “THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”

It wasn’t until 38 minutes later when emergency officials issued a corrected alert saying it was a false alarm. And after the shock wore off, many were left with frustration and anger.

In the years since the false alert, there were investigations and a host of changes made in hopes of preventing a similar mistake.

Among the biggest changes: Last year, the FCC issued new rules for how emergency alerts are sent.

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