THIS WARNING SOUNDED THROUGHOUT THE STATE TODAY:
Not only that, but warnings buzzed on TVs.. radios.. the horrid screeching noise when an emergency alert sounds..
Jocelyn Azbell had just woken up in her Maui hotel Saturday when she was hurried into the hotel’s basement to take shelter from an incoming ballistic missile.
“You’re thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, are we going to die? Is it really a missile (headed) our way, or is it just a test?'” the 24-year-old told CNN. “We really didn’t know.”
Minutes before, she’d received an ominous alert on her phone.
“BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”
Azbell, her boyfriend and hundreds of other hotel guests were “herded like cows” into the basement by staff. “People are crying and people obviously were super scared,” she said.
For 20 minutes, Azbell said, they waited. Finally, they were told that the alert was a false alarm, and they were free to resume their day. Azbell said she was “super relieved.”
“Hawaii is beautiful,” she told CNN. “But it’s not where I want to die.”
Hawaii Emergency Management Agency Administrator Vern Miyagi said at a press conference with the governor Saturday afternoon that a single individual sent out the alert by mistake. The individual went so far as to click through a second message, intended as a safeguard, that asked whether the alert should go out.
But the blame should not fall on that man’s shoulders alone, Miyagi said. “I accept responsibility for this,” he said. “This is my team. We made a mistake. We are going to process this and study this to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
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