Mazie K. Hirono

FEMA: Hawaii didn't need approval to retract missile alert

The Federal Emergency Management Agency said the state of Hawaii didn't need federal approval to retract a cellphone alert mistakenly sent over the weekend warning of a ballistic missile attack.

Hawaii has had the authority to cancel or retract warnings since 2012, when it applied for access to the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System, FEMA said in a statement.

Hawaii Emergency Management Agency spokesman Richard Rapoza said Tuesday his agency asked FEMA for clarification on Saturday about whether rescinding an alert was an appropriate use of the warning system.

Hawaii officials have said the process was one factor that delayed their retraction. Another was...