Footage posted online shows a resident watching a televised basketball game as a chilling computer generated voice speaking over the broadcast declares “this is not a drill.”
The threat issued this afternoon later turned out to be a false alarm, with Hawaii’s Emergency Management Agency confirming there was no imminent attack.
But in the moments after the warning was issued, terrifed residents ran for cover as sirens reportedly sounded across the island.
The automated TV message said: “Stay indoors. If you are outdoors, seek immediate shelter in a building.
“Remain indoors well away from windows. If you are driving, pull safely to the side of the road and seek shelter in a building or lay on the floor.
“We will announce when the threat has ended.”
Confused Hawaiians took to twitter when the initial alert was issued after they received automated warnings through their mobile phones.
The message read: “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”
A drill was reportedly underway when the warning was issued, though it is currently unclear what triggered the false alarm.
In a statement US Pacific command tweeted: “U.S. Pacific Command has detected no ballistic missile threat to Hawaii.
“Earlier message was sent in error.
“State of Hawaii will send out a correction message as soon possible.”