BALTIMORE — More than a week after a false alarm claimed that a missile was headed towards Hawaii and sparked widespread panic, the governor of America’s 50th state made an embarrassing admission as to why it took officials so long to defuse the phony alert.
Although Governor David Ige reportedly knew the alert was a mistake two minutes after it was sent, he confessed he forgot what his Twitter password was and couldn’t tell the public as a result.
“I have to confess that I don’t know my Twitter account log-ons and the passwords, so certainly that’s one of the changes that I’ve made. I’ve been putting that on my phone so that we can access the social media directly,” Ige said, via the Honolulu Star Advertiser.
Questions had been mounting since the early morning panic on Jan. 13, when the governor was noticeably silent for 17 minutes after the missile alert was issued. At 8:24 a.m. local time, Ige finally gained access to his Twitter to join local senators in squashing the alarm. A correction on Facebook reportedly came several minutes after Ige’s brief tweet.
“I was in the process of making calls to the leadership team both in Hawaii Emergency Management as well as others,” Ige added, defending his office’s actions during the crisis. “The focus really was on trying to get as many people informed about the fact that it was a false alert.”
Hawaii Emergency Management Agency Administrator Vern Miyagi reported that the error happened when someone hit the wrong button and issued the missile warning.
“Clearly, government agencies are not prepared and lack the capacity to deal with emergency situations,” Hawaii’s House Speaker Scott Saiki said in a statement after the blunder.