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Researchers find less panic than expected after Hawaii missile alert

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    Vern Miyagi, HEMA Administrator, addressed the media during a press conference at the Hawaii Emergency Management Center at Diamond Head Saturday following the false alarm issued of a missile launch on Hawaii. At right, the alerts issued by the state.

WILMINGTON, Del. >> Researchers studying the reaction of Hawaii’s residents after the false missile alert say there was far less panic than they anticipated.

University of Delaware researchers said people were not running in a “blind panic,” the News Journal in Wilmington reported Saturday.

Jennifer Trivedi, a researcher with the school’s Disaster Research Center, said more people than she expected searched elsewhere to confirm the alert, including social media. At the same time, she said people were unsure of where to go. Many didn’t know where shelters were or if there were any.

Authorities said last month’s alert was sent by the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency after an employee mistakenly believed an attack was imminent. Researchers interviewed more than 80 residents and tourists.

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