Valley residents feared for their lives after false Hawaii missile alert

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- (KFSN)

Chaos unraveled in Hawaii Saturday morning after an emergency alert -- warning people of an imminent ballistic missile attack was sent to mobile phones and broadcasted on television.
RELATED: Hawaii emergency officials say alert of ballistic missile threat was mistake

Clovis resident and former ABC30 employee, Jeff Aiello was on the beach of Waikiki when this happened. He says everyone around him was rattled and visibly scared.

"You could sense an urgency in the streets. I saw a group of young women running down the street, one of them was crying. I saw people pushing their babies in strollers everyone was hurrying away," Aiello said.

Video shows one family putting their children in manholes.
RELATED: Children rushed into manhole for safety during Hawaii missile threat

"There's nowhere to hide there's no bomb shelters you're done, it's coming and you're done."

Aiello tells us many people were standing outside staring at the sky.

"It was very surreal to see people just staring helplessly at the sky. It's like you can't do anything so let's watch it come in," Aiello said.

That is how Army Specialist Bryce Hankla felt. He is from Fresno and is stationed in Hawaii.

"I was Googling like, 'Where is the shelter? Where am I supposed to go to?' I knew that no matter what I was going to figure out a way to survive. The sink or swim happened and I was swimming," Hankla said.

Both men say it took nearly 40 minutes before an update was sent out -- informing people that the warning was a false alarm.

The alert was sent to cellphones, TV and radio stations in Hawaii, leading people to fear the state was under nuclear attack.

A moment that left those panicking speechless and relieved.

Aiello said, "It makes you realize how precious life is and the people you love are. And it's sad you need to have a situation like that but that is what it did."

And while all of this was happening Jeff Aiello says he immediately called his wife to let her know that he loved her and their family.
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