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Newlyweds from San Francisco rattled by missile alert in Hawaii

San Francisco couple Phil and Katie Pham are seen in Hawaii via Skype on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. (KGO-TV)

What started as a dream destination wedding in Hawaii briefly turned into a nightmare for Phil and Katie Pham. The couple from San Francisco was rattled by a terrifying alert that a ballistic missile was headed their way.

"In this moment of fear, moment of anxiety, this moment you just try to stay calm," said Phil via Facetime. He added, "There's this feeling of helplessness, like there's so much out of your control."

The newlyweds got the alarming news while eating breakfast at their hotel on Kauai. They shot video on their phones of people filing into the basement of their hotel to seek shelter.

Phil says it did cross his mind, they could die. The couple just exchanged vows on January 8.

RELATED: False alarm sends Hawaiian tourists, locals into panic mode

"A wedding really symbolizes a new beginning and a new chapter and so there's so much more to look forward to as we start a life together," said Phil. "And it was scary to know that perhaps that could be cut short at any moment." Added Katie. "One of my first thoughts was, are you kidding me?! This is day four!"

Katie says they did their best to stay calm but saw other people panicking. "When you're in Hawaii it's such a beautiful place and the Aloha spirit is so alive and real and to have such a contrast all of a sudden...it was so bizarre. To be in Hawaii and feel that much fear," said Katie.

They were also worried about friends and family members. Many of their wedding guests were still vacationing on the islands.

Finally, hotel staff announced there was no missile at all. It as a false alarm. "I think I said 'Woo!" said Katie.

Katie and Phil say the whole incident was confusing. They hope this serves as a wake up call to be prepared in case of a real threat. The alert was a nerve-wracking way to start life as a married couple but the Phams say they're happy to be alive and are going to enjoy the rest of their honeymoon.

Related Topics:
missilebombingbomb threatweddingdisasternorth koreaHawaiiSan Francisco
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