Missile madness on the air: Second false alert within a week
This time, it happened in Japan:
A false missile alert earlier this morning caused citizens of Japan to get a taste of the panic Hawaiians experienced over the weekend.
NHK News, a Japanese national broadcaster, raised the alarm on Tuesday when they warned the public of a new missile launch from North Korea. No such missile was launched, though NHK’s website and mobile subscribers received a notice advising them to get somewhere safe.
“North Korea appears to have launched a missile,” the alert said according to Reuters. “The government urges people to take shelter inside buildings or underground.”
CNN reported that shortly afterwards, NHK issued another statement where they apologized and said there was no news of any projectile coming from the Hermit Kingdom.
As with the incident over the weekend in Hawaii, the alert affected broadcasters and cell phones:
The same alert was sent to mobile phone users of NHK’s online news distribution service.
In five minutes, the broadcaster put out another message on the website correcting itself and said no government warning, called “J-alert”, had been issued.
“This happened because equipment to send a news flash onto the Internet had been incorrectly operated. We are deeply sorry,” an NHK announcer said on its 9:00 p.m. news program, bowing deeply in apology.
Multiple sources report that it took only a few minutes for NHK to alert viewers and phone users to the error — unlike the false alert in Hawaii, which was not corrected for 38 minutes.