Corvallis woman vacationing in Hawaii reacts to false missile al - KPTV - FOX 12

Corvallis woman vacationing in Hawaii reacts to false missile alert

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Panic in Hawaii after loud sirens and emergency notifications warning of an incoming ballistic missile attack. But state emergency officials say the warning was sent by mistake.

For almost 40 minutes, people in Hawaii didn't know it was a false alarm. Guest across the islands were told to go to hotel basements, beaches were cleared out, and some people ran back to their rooms to be with their families.

A second alert clarified the threat was not real. Hawaii Governor David Ige later apologized for the "pain and confusion" caused by the false alert. 

Officials said the alert was sent by someone who pushed the wrong button during a shift change.

Hawaiian Representative Tulsi Gabbard said this is a stark reality for Hawaii. She also slammed President Donald Trump, saying he's not taking threats from North Korea seriously.

"Donald Trump is taking too long, he is not taking this threat seriously. There is no time to waste. The people of Hawaii and this country should not go through something like this before the leaders of this country start to take this threat seriously," said Rep. Gabbard.

FOX 12 spoke to a local woman who is vacationing with her family in Maui. She says she wasn't with her kids when the alarms started going off, and panic swept over.

"It sounded like a tsunami alarm, and simultaneously our phones went off at the same time," said Katie Slayden. "The beaches were empty. The alarms were just this hellacious noise that just wouldn't stop."

Slayden, who lives in Corvallis, said she and her husband ran back to their hotel room to find their kids in a panic. Although the alert said, "this is not a drill," the parents and their oldest daughter tried to keep their cool.

"I asked the older one before I spoke with you what she thought and she said she was busy keeping her little brother, who's 11, calm. Because he thought that was it, I mean, when you see something like that and your parents aren't even there, you're definitely scared," said Slayden.

A Federal Communications Commission official said the agency will start an investigation into the incident.

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