An emergency evacuation alert sent in error across South Korea’s Seoul over
North Korean rocket launch triggered widespread panic on Wednesday.
According to the report in NDTV, it lead to crashing of internet services and raising fears the government in the country could not be trusted to handle a real crisis.
It mentioned the alert, sent at 6:41 am local time to all mobile phones in Seoul, said: "Citizens, please prepare to evacuate and allow children and the elderly to evacuate first."
“The message did not specify why residents should evacuate or explain where they should go -- Seoul has long had a network of underground bomb shelters, but they have not been used in emergencies in living memory,” it added.
The report quoting Naver, South Korea's largest internet portal, said its network went down for around five minutes due to the excess traffic sparked by the alert.
It said after around 20 minutes of confusion, the government retracted the alert.
"We inform you that the alarm sent at 0641 was incorrectly issued," it said.
“The retraction prompted anger and frustration, including calls on social media for Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon to resign,” it stated.
The alert was triggered after North Korea launched a rocket carrying a military spy satellite, which crashed into the sea, it said.
It added but it flew over waters west of the peninsula and not the Seoul metro area, the South Korean military later confirmed.