Soon after, Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency tweeted that there was no such missile threat to its citizens - but provided no explanation as to why the alert was sent in the first place.

Television broadcasts and mobile phones in Hawaii were interrupted by an emergency warning of an incoming missile on Saturday.

The alert, Hawaii Gov. David Ige told CNN, was due to someone pushing the "wrong button".

Three minutes later, the agency posts a similar message to its official Facebook page.

"There is no missile threat or danger to the State of Hawaii. The alarm was sent out in error, and we know that the procedure in a shift change had been followed, and a human error sent out the false alarm", Ige told Hawaii News Now. It was a false alarm based on a human error.

"People got this message on their phones and they thought 15 minutes, 'We've got 15 minutes before me and my family could be dead", she said. About 20 minutes after the text, someone was finally able to get onto the internet using their phone and saw the announcement that it was a false alarm. During the test, the THAAD weapon system successfully intercepted an air-launched intermediate-range ballistic missile target.

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission meanwhile tweeted that the FCC is launching an investigation into how the false emergency alert was sent.

Hawaii, a chain of islands in the Pacific Ocean, has a population of about 1.4 million people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and is home to the U.S. Pacific Command, the Navy's Pacific Fleet and other elements of the American military.

A ballistic missile is defined as "a missile guided in the ascent of a high-arch trajectory and freely falling in the descent". "Earlier message was sent in error", says Commander David Benham.

"We're in a process of sending another message to cancel the initial message".

Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency (EMA) also tweeted to assure concerned persons that there was "no missile threat" to all throughout the state.

The text was sent out by the national Emergency Alert System, created to allow the U.S. government to warn Americans within 10 minutes of authorities learning of a threat.

"Today's alert was a false alarm".

They vowed to get to the bottom of how such a colossal error was made.

The alert urged residents to take shelter, and said the alert was not a drill. "This was purely a state exercise", the official said.

Officials said quickly after that the alert went out by mistake and was a false alarm.