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Hawaii Governor David Ige tweeted late about the false missile warning because he didn't know his password

He says he has now been logged into his social media accounts on his phone.

Hawaii Governor David Ige tweeted late about the false missile warning because he didn't know his password
Hawaii Governor David Ige was informed within two minutes of the false alert. (Picture: Hawaii government)

The government of the US state of Hawaii has been accused of taking too long to clarify that the alert issued of an incoming ballistic missile was a false alarm. The state's governor, David Ige recently told reporters that he was unable to issue a clarification earlier because - wait for it - he didn't know his Twitter password.

Speaking to reporters after delivering an address to the Hawaii legislature, Ige said he had been told two minutes after the alert that it was a mistake.

"I was in the process of making calls to the leadership team both in Hawaii Emergency Management as well as others," Ige was quoted as saying by the Honolulu Star Adviser.

Then came the clincher. "I have to confess that I don't know my Twitter account log-ons and the passwords, so certainly that's one of the changes that I've made. I've been putting that on my phone so that we can access the social media directly," he added.

Whether this statement should cause concern or should evoke hindsight-powered laughter could just about be a matter of personal choice.

Residents of Hawaii had been shaken into a panic just after 8 am on January 13. An emergency notification on all mobile phones screamed, "Emergency Alert. BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL."

Authorities later said the message had been mistakenly fired by an employee, who they said had hit the wrong button.

The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, whose responsibility it is to issue such alerts, apologised for the panic it had inadvertently caused. The agency and the rest of the Hawaii government have said changes have been made to the procedure to be followed so such a mishap does not happen again.