A few Kelowna residents were among the many that were alarmed this morning by a false missile crisis message in Hawaii.
Renee Wasylyk was enjoying breakfast near Poipu Beach when a high-pitched buzz from her cell phone alerted her, and others around her, to an incoming “ballistic missile threat.”
“It was pretty nerve-wracking I would say because we all got it at the same time,” she said.
She called the front desk and found that they had also received the message and didn’t know how to respond.
“When it said ‘head for shelter’ like where is shelter? Is there a specific shelter we should be heading for? It was a little bit crazy.”
The local news stations also didn’t have any information, it was through Twitter that Wasylyk initially found out that the incoming missile was a false alarm.
“The first thing you thought that OK this is a joke…. then you’re thinking how long do we have? What’s going to happen? Where do we go from here?”
Wasylyk was considering moving with her family to the building’s parkade for protection.
Thirty minutes later she received another message on her phone saying the first message was a false alarm.
The emergency alert, which was sent to cellphones, said in all caps, “Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill.”
Hawaii Emergency Management Agency spokesman Richard Repoza said it was a false alarm and the agency is trying to determine what happened.
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