‘No place to hide’: WJHL family member in Hawaii gives firsthand account of accidental incoming missile alert

This photo is a screenshot of the message residents in Hawaii received Saturday morning (Courtesy: Mark Wolfenberger)

JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL)- Hawaii emergency management officials say a push alert that warned of an incoming ballistic missile to Hawaii on Saturday was a mistake.

The emergency alert sent to cellphones said in all caps, “Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill.”

The alert stirred panic for residents on the island and across social media.

News Channel 11 producer Abigail Wolfenberger has several family members that reside on the Big Island of Hawaii and received that same alert on their phone Saturday morning.

Abigail’s father, Mark Wolfenberger, spoke to us over the phone Saturday afternoon and explained what was going through is head as he received the text alert.

“Your first gut reaction is okay, I need to do something because they are telling me I need to do something, but like I said nobody here has basements, there are no caves, there are no shelters, there is no place to hide, so the only thing I thought of is put everybody in the swimming pool, that’s basically it,” Wolfenberger said.

Hawaii Emergency Management Agency spokesman Richard Repoza says it’s a false alarm.

He says the agency is trying to determine what happened.

Stay with NewsChannel 11 as we continue to follow this developing story.

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