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Hawaii brings back Cold War era sirens to warn of nuclear attack

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Hawaii will resume nuclear warning sirens for the first time in 30 years this week, amid growing concerns about a strike from North Korea. 

The state will sound its Cold War-era air raid sirens on Friday for about 60 seconds across the islands, and will do so monthly thereafter to prepare citizens for an attack, a Hawaii Emergency Management Agency spokesperson told Reuters

Along with the air raid warnings, officials are releasing public service announcements telling citizens to “get inside, stay inside and stay tuned” when the sirens sound, Reuters learned. 


North Korea has launched several ballistic missiles in recent months, which experts have calculated could possibly reach the Hawaiian Islands, home to many key U.S. military bases.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un previously threatened to launch missiles at Guam, a U.S. territory west of Hawaii.  

U.S. Pacific Command would reportedly order officials to sound the sirens in the case of an actual missile launch, giving residents between 12 and 15 minutes to take cover. 

Vern Miyagi, chief of the state’s emergency agency told Reuters there were concerns that reviving the sirens would scare residents.

But he said the effort was based on “the best science that we have on what would happen if that weapon hit Honolulu or the assumed targets.” 


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