Residents in Guam were left fearing for their lives after local television and radio stations accidentally broadcast an emergency warning.
Services were interrupted by a "civil danger warning" on several stations in the early hours of Tuesday.
It warned: "A broadcast station or cable system has issued a civil danger warning for the following countries/areas: Guam; at 12:25 a.m. on Aug. 15, 2017, effective until 12:40 a.m.
"Message from KTWGKSTO."
The message was broadcast by two radio stations, and was also screened on at least one television station on the island.
It prompted numerous panicked residents to call police, reported Guam news website PNC.
Guam's Homeland Security department said the broadcasts were down to "human error" and would not be repeated in an update posted to Facebook.
They said that any genuine warning would include details of what the threat involved.
“Residents and visitors are reminded to remain calm, even with the continued unconfirmed reports throughout the media,” added George Charfauros, Guam Homeland Security Advisor, in a statement.
It comes as North Korea announced that it was pulling back from plans to fire missiles into waters just off the island but warned it could still go ahead with the launch if Washington continues with "reckless actions".