Panic spread through the state of Hawaii on Saturday morning when residents received an alert on their phones warning of a ballistic missile threat that was accidentally sent out by Civil Defense.
Scores of confused residents tweeted screenshots of the warnings after receiving them shortly after 8am local time.
Hawaii falls within the range of the intercontinental ballistic missiles that North Korea have been testing in recent months as tensions between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un flare.
The initial alert was sent out at 8.08am, sparking hysteria across the state.
A correction was not issued for another 37 minutes despite government agencies confirming it was a false alarm to local media and on Twitter.
Residents of Hawaii are furiously asking why it took officials a whole 37 minutes to correct a missile threat warning that was sent out on Saturday morning, sparking panic across the state
This was the alert which was issued among residents at 8.08am, sparking hysteria and panic
Residents took the alert on face value and frantically reposted it on social media
Residents were furious about the delay which meant that 'anyone who does not sit on Twitter' would have been left to think the threat was genuine for the best part of an hour.
'Imagine this for 37 agonizing minutes before it is deemed a false alarm,' said one person.
Lawmakers slammed the mistake as 'inexcusable' and said 'the whole state was terrified'.
The alert was written all in block capitals and read: 'BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL'.
While officials quickly tweeted that it was a false alarm, it took another 37 minutes for a correction alert telling residents that it was a mistake to be issued.
Calls from frightened residents inundated Civil Defense immediately asking for more information or advice.
People who say they got through to the office were then told it was a mistake.
Within ten minutes, frightened residents flooded Civil Defense and 911 with calls and were told it was a mistake
The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency tweeted this out, 12 minutes after the threat was issued to confirm the error
One woman called 911 in panic and said she was told by the operator that staff were performing a drill when 'someone pushed the wrong buttons'.
'Called 911...Operator said it’s a drill of Civil Defense Emergency System but someone pushed the wrong buttons..
'No missile is headed toward the State of Hawaii REPEAT....NO MISSILE IS HEADED TOWARD THE STATE OF HAWAII.'The whole state was terrified Senator Brian Schatz
The Civil Defense phone lines were consistently busy on Saturday and the Department of Defense has not responses to questions on the matter.
The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency tweeted 12 minutes after the alert was issued to say it was a false alarm.
The state's governor David Ige quickly retweeted the post as did other lawmakers.
Residents were furious about the 37 minute delay which meant that 'anyone who doesn't sit on Twitter' was unaware that it was a false alarm for the best part of an hour
Some described the delay as 'agonizing' - particularly in a state which is one of the most vulnerable to any nuclear threat from North Korea
Hawaii is within the range of the latest intercontinental ballistic missiles that North Korea has been testing. It, along with Alaska, are the most vulnerable states to a threat
They vowed to get to the bottom of how such a colossal error was made.
'There is no missile threat. It was a false alarm based on a human error.
'There is nothing more important to Hawai'i than professionalizing and fool-proofing this process.,' Senator Brian Schatz tweeted.
He went on: 'What happened today is totally inexcusable. The whole state was terrified.
'There needs to be tough and quick accountability and a fixed process.'
Senators Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz said the mistake was caused by 'human error'. They slammed it as being 'inexcusable' given the rising tensions between the US and North Korea