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False missile alert sparks panic in Hawaii

Photo+Credit%3A+Elizabeth+Brockway%2F+The+Daily+Beast
Photo Credit: Elizabeth Brockway/ The Daily Beast

Photo Credit: Elizabeth Brockway/ The Daily Beast

Photo Credit: Elizabeth Brockway/ The Daily Beast

Emily Gushrowski, Feature Writer

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On Saturday January 14, 2018 in Hawaii a missile alert was sent statewide just after 8 a.m.  People waited for almost an hour, until a second alert was sent confirming that it was a false alarm.  It was explained that someone hit the wrong button that issued an alert.

The alert read: “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII.  SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER.  THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”

The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency’s administrator, Vern Miyagi, took responsibility for the mistake.  He said that officials would be checking the error to ensure that nothing like this happens again.  

When Hawaii’s civilians received the first alert, they panicked and tried to figure out where their loved ones were and where they would go for the safest shelter.  They saw their lives flash before their eyes.

A civilian explained that it had been one of the scariest moments of her life.  People went from a state of panic to semi-panic and were left to question whether it was sure that the alert was false.  

A PGA Tour event was being held in Honolulu through the weekend.  The players and their families were in panic as well as other people who could have been vacationing or visiting in the islands.    

Social media came in handy for citizens to get updated information fast.  People who did not have social media capability, were in panic longer than someone who was able to get the updated information quicker on twitter. Civilians with just an average cell phone received the false missile alert about 40 minutes later.

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