Transcript for Missile false alarm prompts Hawaii to change protocols
reporting. How did it happen, that false alarm in Hawaii that led to 38 minutes of terror? More than a million people warned of an imminent missile attack, told "This is not a drill." Familying huddling many closets, parents hiding children in manholes. ABC's Jim Avila from Honolulu. Reporter: The worker blamed for causing 38 minutes of fear and panic is reassigned after a routine internal test turned into a nightmare scenario for more than a million hawaiians. A missile may impact on land or sea within involves. This is not a drill. Reporter: The dire message causing this father to hide his daughter in a manhole. Families to race into World War ii-era bunkers. Tourists to gather in hotel basements. I had my mom on spokerphone, I was calling and saying good-bye to my family. Reporter: All starting during a shift change when officials tell ABC news an employee mistakenly clicked missile alert instead of the test option. 8:07 Saturday morning, the warning. This is not a drill. In just three minutes, at 8:10, the command center knows it's a false alarm. Official word taking an anguishing 38 minutes to come from this room. The error happening weeks after Hawaii reinstates its cold war era drills, following several missile launches from north Korea. President trump now weighing in. Part of it is that people are on edge, but maybe eventually we'll solve the problem so they won't have to be so on edge. Reporter: Now, officials here are requiring that two people push the button before an alert goes out. T their biggest concern is that no one will believe them the next time. David? Jim Avila, our thanks to you.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.