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Nuclear Attack Warning Siren Previewed

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Wayne Yoshioka
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North Korea launched another intercontinental ballistic missile over Japan today.  At the same time, Hawai’i’s Governor provided a preview of the state’s warning siren in the event of a nuclear attack. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.

Hawai’i Emergency Management Agency administrator, Vern Miyagi, says the attack warning siren is being resurrected to warn residents and visitors of an impending nuclear attack in 12-to 13 minutes.  He says an attack is highly unlikely but the public must be given the maximum amount of time to prepare.   

“At this point in time, I would ask our technical guys to sound the demonstration of the attack warning siren.”

Miyagi says the siren is the old World War Two air raid siren.  It will be incorporated in the monthly state-wide siren test on the first working day of every month at 11:45 a.m. That’s Friday, December 1.

“Normally, we have the steady-tone siren, which is the attention alert siren that will go on for about 50 seconds.  There’ll be a break for about 15 seconds and there’d be this attack warning tone will go on.  That is what’s going to happen on Friday.  For those of you who live in Kalaeloa, Barber’s Point area, the City and County of Honolulu has a separate tone for HAZMAT.  But that will be separate and unique to that jurisdiction in the City and County of Honolulu.”

Miyagi says there will be no evacuation drill.  Upon hearing the attack warning, everyone is to get inside, stay inside and stay tuned to television, radio or hand-held mobile devices.  Governor David Ige stressed the point that this is a test of the alert coordination and siren alert system.

“We believe that it is imperative that we be prepared for every disaster and in today’s world that includes a nuclear attack.”

For HPR News, I’m Wayne Yoshioka. 

Wayne Yoshioka
Wayne Yoshioka is an award-winning journalist who has worked in television, print and radio in Hawaiʻi. He also has been on both sides of politics as a state departmental appointee and political/government reporter. He covered Hurricane Iwa (1982) as a TV reporter; was the State Department of Defense/Civil Defense spokesperson for Hurricane Iniki (1992); and, commanded a public affairs detachment in Afghanistan (2006). He has a master's degree in Communication from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and is a decorated combat veteran (Legion of Merit, Bronze Star and 22 other commendation/service medals). He resides in Honolulu.
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