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State lawmakers to grill emergency management officials on what went wrong


    State Rep. Matthew LoPresti says lawmakers will question Hawaii Emergency Management Agency officials Friday about today’s false alarm missile alert.

State Rep. Matt LoPresti, vice chairman of the House Public Safety Committee, said he hopes to get detailed answers about today’s false missile attack warning at a committee hearing on Friday.

“We want a minute-by-minute explanation of what happened,” LoPresti said. “Foremost: How is it so easy to send out an alert like this without a check up or a back up? Why was it not so easy to send out a ‘false alarm’? That didn’t happen and that’s not OK. We need accountability.”

The House Public Safety Committee already had scheduled a hearing for Friday to talk to Federal Emergency Management Agency officials and LoPresti said that would be an appropriate hearing to talk to Hawaii emergency management officials, as well.

State Sen. Donna Mercado Kim, chairwoman of the Government Operations Communications, also called for an investigative hearing next week, possibly jointly with House Public Safety Committee.

House Speaker Scott K. Saiki called for an immediate investigation. “This system we have been told to rely upon failed and failed miserably today,” he said in a statement. “I am deeply troubled by this misstep that could have had dire consequences. Measures must be taken to avoid further incidents that caused wholesale alarm and chaos today.”

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