Hawaii has been told it did not have “reasonable” safeguards in place to prevent a false missile alert that caused widespread panic on Saturday.
Residents and visitors to Hawaii were shocked to receive a false alert of an incoming ballistic missile, sent to their mobile phones.
It reportedly read: “Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill.”
Ajit Pai, chairman of America’s media regulator, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), said the error was “absolutely unacceptable”, BBC News reports.
The 38-minute delay in issuing the correction made it worse, he added.
Apologising afterwards, Hawaii’s Governor David Ige said a member of staff had pressed the wrong button, releasing the alert, which was also broadcast on TV and radio stations.
The alert system is in place because of the potential proximity of Hawaii to North Korean missiles.