EMERGENCY sirens accidentally went off in Hawaii sending terrified people on the islands into a panic.
The warnings went off late in the afternoon and it took around 12 minutes for the authorities confirm there was no tsunami alert.
The false alarm comes after thousands were forced to take shelter when a bungling defence worker caused a nuclear missile alert after “pushing the wrong buttons” in January 2018.
Honolulu Police Department took responsibility for the latest false alarm, which was triggered when someone accidentally set of the sirens during a training exercise, Hawaii News Now reports.
After hearing the sirens the local TV station received dozens of calls from scared residents trying to find out what was going on.
The phone lines of the state Department of Emergency Management, police and other agencies were also flooded with calls.
The National Weather Service in Honolulu reassured residents that there was no active tsunami alert.
“We have received phone calls about sirens going off across Oahu, but we have confirmed with the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center that there is NO TSUNAMI THREAT,” it said.
Honolulu’s mayor Kirk Caldwell tweeted: “THERE IS NO REASON TO BE ALARMED. REPEAT… NO CAUSE FOR ALARM.”
Police chief Susan Ballard said the alarm was set off during a dispatcher training.
She said the training was being done on live equipment rather than with training software, which the department still hasn’t bought.
“I just want to apologise the public. It was just a very simply mistake. We need to do better,” she said.
‘GET IT TOGETHER HAWAII’
“I am so sorry. We realize we need to make sure that we’re training on training equipment only.”
Local residents were less than impressed by the second false alarm in short space of time.
One Twitter user summed up the public mood saying: “All these false sirens… soon it’s gonna be the boy who cried wolf and we’ll never take these sirens seriously. Get it together Hawaii.”
“How are people supposed to take these false alarms seriously when they all end up being false alarms?” Chad Husted wrote on Facebook.
Another Facebook user, Patrick Green, added: “This time it was extra nerve-wracking because you’re thinking to yourself, ‘It can’t be a false alarm again’.”
During the 2018 false alarm, panicked Hawaiians ran for their lives and some parents even hid their children in sewers.
It took 38 minutes for officials to send out a text message saying the warning was false.
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