WASHINGTON D.C. (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii's representatives in Washington, D.C. are seeking a formal Congressional investigation into the missile alert mistake that sent a wave of panic and fear across most of the state.
U.S. Reps. Colleen Hanabusa and Tulsi Gabbard sent a letter to the chair and ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, calling for an inquiry into the policies, practices and procedures when it comes to issuing a ballistic missile warning.
Hanabusa asked whether the Department of Defense should have more control of emergency alerts sent by state emergency management agencies.
"Unfortunately, the events of January 13, 2018 were of a very serious nature with the potential for wide-ranging negative implications for the Department of Defense, national security, tourism, and the fundamental confidence people must have in our in state emergency management and civil defense system," Hanabusa said, in a statement.
Gabbard said the false alarm "underlined the increasing risk of nuclear war, even unintentionally, that could be triggered by such an alarm, as we saw occur many times in the past between the U.S. and Soviet Union."
They say the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee has shown an interest in conducting the investigation, but nothing has been confirmed yet.
On Saturday, most of Hawaii's more than 1.4 million population and hundreds of thousands of visitors received an alert, warning of a ballistic missile threat. Nearly 40 minutes later, the emergency officials issued a second alert informing of the false alert.
The mishap left many a complete state of shock and terror, with some running into businesses, seeking shelter in manholes and calling loved ones.