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False alarm sends Hawaiians into a panic

by Karin L. Nauber

Shock, disbelief and outright panic are some of the words that could be used to describe the feelings of Hawaiians and visitors when an emergency alert was sent out early Saturday, January 13.

Cell phones around the state were “blowing up” with the message: "Emergency Alert: BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.

It turned out to be a false alarm, but for panicked people on the multiple islands that make up the state of Hawaii, it brought with it the terror that this could be the end.

Aaron Saunders, a 2006 Bertha-Hewitt graduate who has been working in Hawaii for a few months, said that the alert woke him up.

“After I read it, my heart just sank. We have 15 minutes after an alert like that to seek shelter. There is nowhere for us to go,” he said...

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