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Oregon official apologizes after cryptic emergency alert - Honolulu, Hawaii news, sports & weather - KITV Channel 4

Oregon official apologizes after cryptic emergency alert

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SALEM, Ore. (AP) -

The head of Oregon's emergency management agency has apologized after a cryptic emergency alert was forced out to cellphones in and around Oregon's capital city, displaying the words "Civil Emergency" and "Prepare for Action," but carrying little other information.
  
Andrew Phelps said late Tuesday that a technical glitch had cut off crucial information: that the alert concerned elevated levels of a natural toxin in a local reservoir. Children and people with compromised immune systems have been told not to drink tap water in the Salem, Oregon, area.
  
The incident marked a high-profile glitch in authorities' use of emergency alert systems, following a false alarm sent out by Hawaii officials in January warning of an incoming ballistic missile.
  
The systems are capable of pushing messages directly to every cellphone in a given area, even if users haven't subscribed or downloaded an app.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press.  All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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