Several golfers participating in the US PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu also reacted to the alarming episode.
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser says emergency officials mistakenly sent the message out by text, all in capital letters, at 08:07 (18:07 GMT) before correcting the error by email 18 minutes later.
World number four and 2017 PGA Championship victor Justin Thomas was among several players at the event in Honolulu who took to Twitter following the false alarm.
The White House said President Donald Trump, who is in Florida, was briefed on what happened, adding that the mistake was "purely a state exercise".
Hawaiian authorities told NHK that so far it is unclear what caused the error and they are investigating.
Screenshots of iPhone emergency alerts filled social media, as people on the island tried to figure out what was happening.
Hawaii residents took shelter where they could and gathered with loved ones in prayer believing they were about to die.
"I was awakened by the alert like everyone else here in the state of Hawaii", Governor David Ige revealed in a press conference aired on CNN.
Hawaii State Representative Matt LoPresti, described his family's reaction upon receiving the alert.
The state was only able to recall the alert 40 minutes after it was originally dispatched, which left fear-stricken residents in limbo awaiting catastrophe.
Unsurprisingly, this caused many to panic, including those involved with the production of J.C. Chandor's upcoming action film Triple Frontier, sources close to the production tell The Hollywood Reporter.
"There is no missile threat", he tweeted.
He said such shift changes occur three times a day every day of the year.
Hawaii Gov. David Ige apologized for the "pain and confusion" caused by the alert.
Those enjoying a vacation in Hawaii and locals of the island were in for a very rude awakening.
In November, Hawaii said it would resume monthly statewide testing of Cold War-era nuclear attack warning sirens for the first time in at least a quarter of a century, in preparation for a possible missile strike from North Korea.
Agency spokesman Richard Repoza confirmed it was a false alarm and the agency is trying to determine what happened. Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz says the false alarm about a missile threat was based on "human error" and was "totally inexcusable".