Topeka couple gets 'ballistic missile inbound' alert during Hawaiian trip

Dr. Eric Voth and Michelle Voth (Submitted)
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HONOLULU (WIBW) -- What was supposed to be a chance to escape to an island paradise took a terribly frightening turn for a Topeka doctor and his wife Saturday morning.

"I got this alert. Tried to confirm, but quickly thought we should let our family know of the potential and if it were real to say goodbye," Dr. Eric Voth recounted.

Voth and his wife, Michelle, are currently vacationing in Hawaii. The received the emergency alert that was sent through out the state, reading (in all caps), "Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill."

The Voths grabbed what food and water and clothes they could and started looking for the safest place in their hotel. He told 13 NEWS about the extreme anxiety seizing through the hotel as those alerts pinged phone after phone, all at once. In all of that bustle, Voth added that some people did panic.

"(It was a) VERY weird feeling to just be waiting 38 minutes before all clear," he described.

Eventually - after more than a half-hour - a second alert pinged all of those phones, stating simply, "There is no missle threat to the State of Hawaii. Repeat. False Alarm."

With tensions increasing throughout the world - especially from a North Korea which now claims the ability to strike much of the United States - Voth points out you can't really get away from it all.

"The scariest part was the stark reality that it could be real," he said.