The nuclear sirens in Hawaii had been silent since the Cold War, but on Friday — due to increasing concerns over the actions of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un — all that changed.
Siren tests for natural disasters like hurricanes are routine events in Hawaii, but on Friday, the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency added a new tone signaling nuclear threat.
The state says that an attention alert signal — a steady, minute-long beep — informs residents to turn on a radio or television for information and instruction for an impending emergency, and if in a coastal area, to evacuate to higher grounds. The new nuclear attack warning signal — a wailing, minute-long beep — will follow the attention alert signal, and direct residents to seek immediate shelter, and to remain sheltered until an all-clear message is broadcast over radio or television.
The most recent North Korean missile test involved an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of reaching the mainland United States, and the regime has previously issued direct threats to the United States and its territories.