State to visitors: When you hear the attack warning siren test, keep calm and carry on

State to visitors: When you hear the attack warning siren test, keep calm and carry on

WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - The attack warning siren will sound in Hawaii on Friday for the first time since the Cold War.

And that's got the visitor industry a little worried.

On Wednesday, Hawaii Tourism Authority President and CEO George Szigeti tried to calm those fears, saying the test of the wailing siren — which will now happen monthly — doesn't mean the islands face a significant threat of nuclear attack.

State emergency management officials have echoed those sentiments, saying the threat — through real — is small.

"It is imperative to remember that the threat of a missile attack against Hawaii by North Korea is a highly unlikely possibility," Szigeti said, in a news release.

"Leisure and business travelers planning a trip to Hawaii should not be alarmed by the testing of this new attack warning signal. Its implementation is consistent with the state's longstanding policy to be prepared and informing the public well in advance of any potential threat to Hawaii's well-being."

He added, "Travelers can plan and book their trips to the Hawaiian Islands confident that they will be safe and secure throughout their stay."

The attack warning siren will sound statewide Friday immediately following the tsunami warning siren.

During Hawaii's monthly test of the attack siren at 11:45 a.m. on the first working day of every month, residents don't have to take any action.

If there was an actual missile attack from North Korea, the state would trigger the wailing siren after an alert from the U.S. Pacific Command.

The test comes amid rising tensions with North Korea, and as the state tries to better prepare residents for the improbable but not impossible threat of a nuclear attack from the rogue nation.

On Tuesday, North Korea launched its first inter-continental ballistic missile test in 10 weeks, and experts said it was capable of reaching Hawaii or the U.S. mainland.

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