Hawaii officials decided to check the readiness of the population in case of alarm, the warning would give people 20 minutes to take shelter ahead of an imminent missile strike. Since the 1980s’ Cold War times, Waikiki sounds nuclear warning sirens for the first time.
The tensions between the North Korea and the USA made the Hawaii administration check the readiness of local people to act properly and to take shelter immediately after siren sound. On Friday, for the first time since Cold War era, the US is checking if sirens intended to alert tourists and residents to a possible nuclear attack from North Korea malfunctioned.
Another important moment of the siren drill was their loudness. In the event of a nuclear attack, the sirens islanders heard Friday will serve as a 15-minute warning to gather with loved ones and take cover.
Hawaii Emergency Management Agency said that the beachgoers hardly noticed the test, which sounded like a distant siren. The warning would give people 15-20 minutes to take shelter ahead of an imminent missile strike.
The Canadian tourist said that such testing is a good idea, “but judging by everyone’s reaction around here, nobody moved.”
Hawaii and the emergency status
Hawaii is a very special region, the local siren drills for hurricanes, tsunamis and other natural disasters are routine events on the islands, but the renewed need for a nuclear drill had some residents here on edge. Erin Keller, a 33-year-old restaurant owner, said the siren drill distracted people and making them nervous, all her cooks could talk about only siren drill Friday morning.
“Generally I feel like living in Hawaii makes it so that you’re kind of removed from that sense of drama and danger. But the proximity of Hawaii to North Korea changes everything. Are we sticking out like a sore thumb?”
That’s how long experts say it would take a nuclear missile launched from North Korea to reach Hawaii and potentially destroy it.