Midlands woman alerted of 'incoming missile' while in Hawaii


COLUMBIA, SC ( WACH) -- For 38 long minutes, sirens blasted throughout the small islands of Hawaii Saturday morning. Amy Beth Franks and her family are currently visiting the island of Kawaii from Columbia.

She said she was the only one in her family to receive the text warning of a ‘Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii." Franks said during the alert she and her family discussed possible plans of escape, she even asked her father, a retired skipper of missile support, what to do. “When something like that's happening,” Franks said. “The sense of panic that comes over you, it’s scary and I feel terrible for the people of Hawaii.”

With no word from elected officials and limited options to escape, she only hoped the scare was a false alarm. It comes at a time where tension is high between the US and North Korea. "When you don’t hear from elected officials,” Franks said. “You still have that sense of worry, and that’s definitely the sense over the whole island for the next couple of days after."

The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency sent a tweet after the chaos that said there's "No missile threat to Hawaii." They sent another text alert confirming the false alarm. "I can’t imagine living here and facing those fears,” Franks said. “Not knowing what else you’re going to do, where else you're going to go, it would take us 20 mins for a missile to hit us here and where are you going to go?"

The island of Hawaii is about 5,000 miles from North Korea. More than 8.5 million people visit the island every year. Officials worry how this will impact tourism in the coming months. The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency said its working with other government agencies to prevent a repeat.

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