“Everyone was running around like, ‘What do we do?'” he said.
In Honolulu, hair salon owner Jaime Malapit texted his clients that he was cancelling their appointments and was closing his shop for the day.
On the H-3, a major highway north of Honolulu, vehicles sat empty after drivers left them to run to a nearby tunnel after the alert showed up, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported. Workers at a golf club huddled in a kitchen fearing the worst.
“I thought it was either a hoax or a false alarm,” he said.
“Clearly, government agencies are not prepared and lack the capacity to deal with emergency situations,” he said in a statement.
For their part, Hawaii Gov. David Ige and Miyagi, the emergency management administrator, apologized and vowed changes.