photo Tara Benwell Listen to News with Tara Benwell - Instructions:
1. Preview the vocabulary and read the gapfill text.
2. Play the news report and try to fill in the blanks.
3. Answer the comprehension questions by writing full sentences.
4. Use the discussion question to write an essay or discuss the story with other students.
5. Click "show Answers" to see the full text.
6. Pretend to be a news anchor by reading each story out loud.

dateline: 17 January 2018

Hawaii Panics During False Missile Alert

Listen to the news in English with Tara Benwell

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • panic (verb): to suddenly be and/or act in fear or terror
  • ballistic missile: a weapon shot through the sky
  • drill: a test, not a real emergency
  • shelter: a place to hide or wait during an emergency
  • incident: an event or happening
  • alert: a notice
  • tension: conflict, stress

Hawaii Panics During False Missile Alert

Residents and tourists in Hawaii received an alert morning that warned of an incoming ballistic missile. The alert said to take shelter and warned it was not a drill. Hawaii was in a panic for minutes before learning it was a false alarm. An employee at the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency had pressed the wrong button during a staff changeover. A similar alarm went out in Japan on Tuesday. It took ten minutes for authorities to correct the mistake in that incident. Many in and Japan believed the alerts were true due to tension between the leaders of the US and North Korea.

Comprehension Questions

  1. What alert did people in Hawaii receive?
  2. How long did people in Hawaii think the alert was true?
  3. Why does the report mention Japan?

Discussion Question

Why are false alarms like this so dangerous?

show Answers

Written by Tara Benwell for EnglishClub
Tara Benwell is a Canadian freelance writer and editor who specializes in materials and articles for the ELT industry.

2 Comments on Hawaii Panics During False Missile Alert

  1. Alberto says:

    Front my point of view, people might take wrong decisions under pressure and an alarm can stress us easily.

  2. Bijan says:

    Hi Tara,

    First, thank you for this week’s news report.

    Second, it’s interesting for me one of the meanings of the word drill (a test) isn’t in the Merriam Webster Dictionary and also in the Cambridge Dictionary. The Oxford Dictionary has only presented all of the meanings of the above word that one of them has been explained by you (a test, not a real emergency).

    Thus, you as a teacher can generally see how it’s so difficult for a student to find the meaning of a word in several dictionaries.

    You help to your students very much Here (in the news reports) because you present the meanings of the words above the news reports each week.

    Third, I hope to resolve the tension between North and South Korea soon because the world is worry about the war between them as Hawaii and Japan believed the alerts were true due to tension between the leaders of the US and North Korea.

    Finally, I have the good news because I read on the news yesterday that North and South Korea use one flag when they want to parade in the winter Olympic games in February.

    I wish peace and love for all countries in the world.

    Have a nice weekend and best wishes,
    Bijan from the Persian Gulf

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