Panic spread through the state of Hawaii on Saturday morning when residents received a phone alert for an ‘inbound ballistic missile threat’ that was accidentally sent out by Civil Defense but which was not corrected for the best part of an hour. Scores of confused residents tweeted screenshots of the warnings after receiving the alert at 8.07 local time. It read: ‘BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL’.

A similar message flashed up on local television networks and brought live sports games to a halt. It was caused by an employee at Civil Defense who ‘pushed the wrong buttons’ during a shift handover, Hawaii Governor David Ige said. Hawaii falls within the range of the intercontinental ballistic missiles that North Korea have been testing in recent months as tensions between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un flare. When residents saw the alert on Saturday, they immediately feared it was genuine and began calling 911 to ask where they should go. READ MORE