Federal responsibility in nuclear attack alerts is unclear

HONOLULU (AP) — A timeline shows Hawaii officials botched efforts to immediately correct a false missile alert over the weekend, taking more than 20 minutes to contact federal authorities for approval they didn’t need and then taking another 15 minutes to cancel the alert that was sent to mobile devices statewide.

One of the state’s U.S. senators is wondering aloud if top brass at the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency should be replaced.

Sen. Brian Schatz said Wednesday that Gov. David Ige has a “tough decision in front of him” and that restoring the public’s confidence in the alert system is critical.

The confusion raises questions about whether any state should be solely responsible for notifying the public of such an event.