'Horrendous mistake': As investigation into false missile alert begins, state asks for patience

Missile Alert Investigation
Updated: Jan. 18, 2018 at 9:07 PM HST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Five days after Hawaii Emergency Management Agency's false missile alarm sent the state into pandemonium, questions and concerns continue grow.

Investigators with the Federal Communications Commission met with state officials and members of the media at the Diamond Head Emergency Operations Center on Thursday.

It's the first stage of multiple investigations into what happened on Saturday.

The FCC has launched an investigation into both the mistaken missile alert and the time it took — 38 minutes — to send out a correction.

"I think we're looking into why there was a 38-minute delay between the initial transmission of the alert and when the correction was issued over WEA/EAS (Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alert)," said FCC Attorney Advisor James Wiley.

"I think our primary focus in being here is also to identify next steps that folks can take to make sure an event like this never happens again," Wiley said.

Brig. Gen. Kenneth Hara, state adjutant general, will be investigating both short and long-term fixes.

And in the meantime, he asked for patience.

"I really want to look at this investigation and not come to early judgments. The media has been saying why haven't we fired these people? Let the investigation go on," he said. "It was a horrendous mistake and the consequences were severe."

Meanwhile, several former governors have weighed in on the crisis.

Former Gov. Ben Cayetano said he thinks the governor should urge emergency management Administrator Vern Miyagi to resign.

But former Gov. John Waihee said he didn't want to second guess the state's leadership.

Meanwhile, Hara said some employees with the emergency management agency had considered resigning, but that hasn't happened.

Copyright 2018 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.