Health Dept. received 2 dozen calls related to false missile alert

Published: Jan. 24, 2018 at 11:10 AM HST|Updated: Jan. 31, 2018 at 9:48 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The false ballistic missile alert earlier this month put much of Hawaii in a state of fear and panic, but the state Department of Health says there was no apparent increase in the number of calls it typically receives.

Since the false alarm on Jan. 13, the DOH said it got about two dozen calls related to the incident. The calls were made to the department's 24-hour crisis line, which provides confidential counseling and other support services.

On Saturday, Jan. 13, a ballistic missile alert was sent to the cellphones of Hawaii's 1.4 million residents and hundreds of thousands of visitors. It took 38 minutes for the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency to issue a retraction. The initial alert sent waves of panic and fear across the state, with people running for shelter, crawling into manholes or calling loved ones.

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