Some tourists from Langley were startled awake Saturday morning in Hawaii when cellphones across the island suddenly told them there was an incoming missile and to take shelter.
The alert was a mistake – there was no missile, only an accidental activation of an emergency warning system.
But it startled a lot of locals and tourists.
Kris Howes, a Langley City resident was in Aiea, near Pearl Harbour, for a Mayor’s Cup soccer tournament for Over 40 women.
She was travelling with four other Langley women.
“Two other girls in our room received the alert on their phone,” Howes said.
One was awake at 8 a.m. and woke up the others to tell them about the alert.
“When our friend told us of the alert we were unsure what to do and if it was real,” Howes wrote in an email to the Advance.
“The hotel front desk personal told every one to stay in their rooms and way from windows. We were still not sure if it was real. Our hotel was on the shore of Pearl Harbor, and we heard planes in the air and then announcement over a load speaker for service personnel to report to stations. When we heard sirens that’s when when we panicked.”
The women tried to call family but couldn’t make outgoing calls, so they sent texts. There was no information on the internet other than on Twitter.
“It was about half hour until we heard it was a false alarm,” Howes said. “We heard it was a false alarm from a neighbor at the hotel who is in the Navy and then we found more info online. We received another text saying it was a false alarm. It was pretty surreal for about 20 minutes. Thinking this could it.”
By the next day, she was posing with her friends and a local Hawaii paper that covered its front page with the headline “Oops!”
Langley’s Debbie Scrivens was also in Hawaii.
“It got the adrenaline flowing for sure,” Scrivens said. “At first I thought it was real so put together a quick grab ‘n’ go kit in case we were told to evacuate, but because there were no sirens I began to feel it was false.”
She said it took almost 40 minutes before they got the message that the alarm was false.