California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    California Lutheran University students affected by the Hawaiian missile scare

    On Jan. 13, 2018 at 8:07 a.m., an accidental emergency alert was sent out to the state of Hawaii saying, “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”

    The Washington Post reported that, “thousands of residents of Hawaii and tourists freaked out.”

    What the residents and tourists did not know was that this alert was sent out by accident.

    Gov. David Ige of Hawaii reported that he forgot his Twitter password and was not able to send out a message to respond to the crisis until 45 minutes after the alert. The alert was sent out because an employee pressed the wrong button.

    According to The New York Times, “Estimates vary, but it would take a little more than half an hour for a missile launched from North Korea to reach Hawaii, traversing an arc of roughly 5,700 miles.”

    Although the alert was false, unaware residents and tourists took matters into their own hands by packing up and doing their best to get to safety as fast as possible.

    Jacie Fucada, a junior at California Lutheran University, is from Oahu, Hawaii and was home when the alert was sent out.

    “My family always wakes up early, so we were up anyways, but I was in the kitchen and the alarms went off and I was super confused because nothing has ever happened like that before,” Fucada said.

    After the alert was announced false, she said that everyone was confused on how the mistake was made and why it happened.

    Hawaii natives Landon Navarro and Ryne Yamashiro, both sophomores at Cal Lutheran, also had family affected by the alert.

    Navarro was on a plane in Hawaii, ready to takeoff, when the alert was sent out. Since this was an early flight, Navarro had already put his phone on airplane mode and went to sleep. However, Navarro heard about the alert five hours later when he landed at Los Angeles International Airport.

    “I literally went straight to Instagram, straight to Snapchat, straight to Twitter and that’s all I saw,” Navarro said.

    After seeing the news all over social media, he contacted his family. He heard of other people running red lights and breaking laws to get to certain places.

    Yamashiro had no idea about the missile scare until later in the day after his baseball practice. He was on campus when the alert was sent out. After practice, his coach said it was a false alarm and told Yamashiro to call his parents and make sure everything was O.K.

    When Yamashiro called his parents to ask them what they did, to his surprise, they said they slept through the whole thing after going to bed late the night before.

    He said that his father would have wanted to go to the beach and enjoy the view one last time if the alert had been real.

    “It was an eye-opener for a lot of people. It made them realize what’s most important in their lives because they had like 40 minutes to do whatever they wanted to do, or tell everyone ‘I love you’ and ‘goodbye,’” Navarro said.

    Luisa Virgen