Hurricanes, tsunamis and now nuclear bombs. The threat from North Korea has joined the list of dangers being planned for in Hawaii.
Panic ensued at the University of Hawaii after an email with the subject heading ‘In the event of a nuclear attack’ was sent to 60,000 students and faculty staff on Monday.
The email discussed growing tensions between North Korea and the United States – and detailed what to do in the event of an attack.
“In light of concerns about North Korea missile tests, state and federal agencies are providing information about nuclear threats and what to do in the unlikely event of a nuclear attack and radiation emergency,” the email said.
“For this type of event, the ten campuses of the University of Hawaii will rely on the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency siren system and follow agency instructions on ‘sheltering-in-place’.”
Daniel Meisenzahl sent the email, and told The Washington Post he regretted the subject heading straightaway.
“If I were to do it all over again, the one thing I would have done is put ‘unlikely’ in the subject line,” Meisenzahl said. He might also have put into all caps: “NO REASON FOR ALARM” and other language to the effect of “Don’t take this the wrong way.”
“The subject line could use some work,” he said.
Precautionary emails are routinely sent out by the university, regarding hurricane and tsunami risks. This email should be viewed as no more immanent than those, Meisenzahl said.
However, in these tweets on Saturday, US President Donald Trump indicated the current diplomatic approach to North Korea is failing:
The email was a response to a rising level of student inquiries about the procedure in the event of a nuclear attack.
Tensions between the US and North Korea are rising ahead of Trump’s plans to visit Asia – including South Korea – in November.