Thursday, October 19, 2017

Take cover, avoid bomb flash - Guam issues nuclear guidelines

  • >> Reuters
    Published: 2017-08-12 04:48:10 BdST

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Pupils play near the World War II remnants of a torpedo at the Asan Memorial Park on the island of Guam, a US Pacific Territory, August 11, 2017. Reuters

Guam posted emergency guidelines on Friday to help residents prepare for any potential nuclear attack after a threat from North Korea to fire missiles in the vicinity of the US Pacific territory.

Pyongyang's state-run KCNA news agency said on Thursday its army would complete plans in mid-August to fire four intermediate-range missiles over Japan to land near Guam as North Korea and the United States engaged in increasingly heated rhetoric this week over the North's nuclear weapons program.

Tourists frolic on the waters overlooking posh hotels in Tumon tourist district on the island of Guam, a US Pacific Territory, August 10, 2017. Reuters

Tourists frolic on the waters overlooking posh hotels in Tumon tourist district on the island of Guam, a US Pacific Territory, August 10, 2017. Reuters

North Korea did not threaten Guam with a nuclear attack, but the crisis between Pyongyang and the United States has stirred fears that a nuclear conflict could break out in the region.

While the governor of Guam shrugged off the North's missile warning and said there was no heightened threat, the government has issued a preparedness fact sheet.

In language that evoked the spectre of nuclear conflict during the Cold War, the guidelines cover what to do before, during and after a nuclear attack.

A new stamp issued in commemoration of the successful test launch of the

A new stamp issued in commemoration of the successful test launch of the "Hwasong-14" intercontinental ballistic missile is seen in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang on August 8, 2017. KCNA via Reuters

"Do not look at the flash or fireball – It can blind you," it said. "Take cover behind anything that might offer protection."

"Remove your clothing to keep radioactive material from spreading. Removing the outer layer of clothing can remove up to 90% of radioactive material," read the guidelines of what to do if caught outside.

Tourists frolic along the Tumon beach on the island of Guam, a US Pacific Territory, August 10, 2017. Reuters

Tourists frolic along the Tumon beach on the island of Guam, a US Pacific Territory, August 10, 2017. Reuters

They suggest having an emergency plan and supply kit and making a list of potential concrete structures near home, work and school to serve as fallout shelters.

"Fallout shelters do not need to be specifically constructed for protecting against fallout," it said. "They can be protected space, provided that the walls and roof are thick and dense enough (i.e. concrete) to absorb radiation given off by fallout particles."

FILE PHOTO: An aerial view of US Naval Base Guam September 20, 2006. US Navy handout via Reuters

FILE PHOTO: An aerial view of US Naval Base Guam September 20, 2006. US Navy handout via Reuters

The fact sheet advises people on how to wash: do not scrub or scratch the skin, use soap, shampoo and water but do not put not conditioner on your hair because it binds radioactive material.

It offers advice for parents who are away from their children during a strike.

"Stay where you are, even if you are separated from your family," it said. "Listen to the news. Do not call the school. Be patient. Wait for instructions to pick up your child."

Tourists stroll in the Tumon tourist district on the island of Guam, a US Pacific Territory, August 10, 2017. Reuters

Tourists stroll in the Tumon tourist district on the island of Guam, a US Pacific Territory, August 10, 2017. Reuters

The information on the fact sheet was gathered from the US Department of Homeland Security website www.ready.gov, a Guam Homeland Security spokeswoman told the Pacific Daily News.

Guam is home to about 163,000 people and a US military base that includes a submarine squadron, an air base and a Coast Guard group.

US President Donald Trump on Thursday warned North Korea against threatening Guam and said on Friday that the US military was "locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely."

Two US Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers fly from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, for a 10-hour mission, with an escort of a pair of Japan Self-Defense Forces F-2 fighter jets in the vicinity of Kyushu, Japan August 8, 2017. US Air Force handout via Reuters

Two US Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers fly from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, for a 10-hour mission, with an escort of a pair of Japan Self-Defense Forces F-2 fighter jets in the vicinity of Kyushu, Japan August 8, 2017. US Air Force handout via Reuters

Asked about Trump's tough posture, Guam Governor Eddie Calvo said he agreed with sending a clear message to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who has ramped up his country's tests of missiles and nuclear bombs.

"Though I don't want the temperature to get any higher, I think it's important also that there is clarity and that if there is an attack on any American soil including Guam, that it will be met with overwhelming response," Calvo told reporters on Friday. "I don't have any problem with that."