Citizens of Hawaii have been told to brace for an incoming nuclear attack from North Korea, as officials warn that all-out war between the U.S. and Pyongyang looks increasingly inevitable.
With Hawaii the most likely target for a nuclear strike, residents have been warned to make the same type of preparations they would normally make for a tsunami or hurricane.
State officials have told members of the public that they will have between 12-15 minutes to find safe shelter, once they hear warning sirens recently installed across the island.
Independent.co.uk reports: Mr Ward said younger Hawaiians were likely worried because talk of fallout shelters and drills are not issues they grew up with; it’s “probably more surreal to younger generations,” he said.
However, the Washington Post reported that residents are not panicking.
Tsunami and hurricane preparation is nothing new for Hawaiians and instead of seven days of food, water, and emergency medical supplies on hand, they have been told to keep double that.
However, officials are not downplaying the seriousness of a potential nuclear attack.
The Honolulu Civil Beat newspaper obtained a copy of the document circulated at the closed-door meeting.
It includes chapters titled “Enhance missile launch notification process between U.S. Pacific Command and the State Warning Point” and “Publish a new ‘Ballistic Missile Threat Annex’ to the State Emergency Operations Plan (underway).”
The state will begin testing a siren warning system, a wailing sound, in November.
It would give people about 12 to 15 minutes to get to safety, after which they would be required to stay indoors for 48 to 72 hours.
Hawaii does not have any public fallout shelters at the moment.
But in a darkly positive note the Frequently Asked Questions portion of the document said “current estimates of human casualties based on the size (yield) of North Korean nuclear weapon technology suggests an explosion less than 8 miles in diameter” which would mean about 90 per cent of the state’s population would survive in the event of an attack.
Donald Trump addressed the United Nations General Assembly last week and was warned by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres not to “sleepwalk our way into nuclear war.”
Mr Guterres said extreme language – such as the type Mr Trump has been using like saying he would rain down “fire and fury” – on Pyongyang could lead to “fatal misunderstandings”.
During his speech, Mr Trump did not hold back on the isolated Asian nation and its mercurial leader Kim Jong-un, saying he would “totally destroy” it should North Korea threaten and attack the US or an ally.
“The whole world should clearly remember it was the US who first declared war on our country,” North Korean foreign minister Ri Yong-ho said from New York.
The Pentagon and Defence Secretary James Mattis have briefed Mr Trump on all available military options.