The state's Emergency Management Agency tweeted 10 minutes after the initial alert that there was no threat.
A spokeswoman for US Representative Tulsi Gabbard said Ms Gabbard checked with the state agency that issued the alert and was told it was sent in error.
The error confirmation was sent via Twitter within 15 minutes, but it took more than 40 minutes for emergency management officials to send the cell phone push notifications saying it was a false alarm.
'No missile is headed toward the State of Hawaii REPEAT.NO MISSILE IS HEADED TOWARD THE STATE OF HAWAII'. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii. "There was anxiety across the state and it was terrifying". He sent a second tweet using capitalization to emphasize the "FALSE ALARM".
"While I am thankful this morning's alert was a false alarm, the public must have confidence in our emergency alert system", he wrote. "There is no incoming missile to Hawaii".
Many people did not receive a corrected alert on their phones until 8:45 a.m., 38 minutes after the warning of the incoming missile.
The US Federal Communications Commission said is was launching a "full investigation" into the false ballistic missile alert. The message, which was transmitted by the Civil Defense department, was accompanied by an ominous warning that the alarm was "not a drill". He said, "There needs to be tough and quick accountability and a fixed process".
He added that the human error happened as shifts were changing.
'There is nothing more important to Hawai'i than professionalizing and fool-proofing this process'.
It was later revealed to be a false alarm although residents were completely unaware. The White House deputy press secretary, Lindsay Walters, released a statement afterward saying Trump had been made aware of the situation.
"From a NORAD perspective and that of the U.S. Northern Command, we are still trying to verify what happened", he said of the false alert. Amid the threat, Hawaii last month tested a nuclear siren warning for the first time since the Cold War.
The US military maintains a complex and integrated network of sensors and detection capabilities in the Pacific to track ballistic missile activity, a network that has been -- of necessity -- improved in recent years, according to CNN military analyst John Kirby.