North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump have been ramping up the war rhetoric.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump have been ramping up the war rhetoric. KCNA / JUSTIN LANE

California gets ready for nukes

DONALD Trump, North Korea, Kim Jong-un, nuclear strike, california

AS DONALD Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un trade barbs over the threat of war, one US state is already preparing for the worst.

Foreign Policy reports Californian officials are urging local agencies to shore up their nuclear attack response plans.

Last month the Los Angeles Joint Regional Intelligence Center issued a report titled Nuclear Attack Response Considerations citing North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile test in late July that showed a strike could theoretically reach the West Coast of the US.

"The consequences of a nuclear attack in Southern California would be catastrophic,” the report stated.

"Nonetheless, government entities and first responders are expected to remain operational to preserve human life, maintain order and aid in the recovery process.”

The report went to all LA-based first responders including all state and federal agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security.

The document also explored the aftermath of a nuclear blast including the effects of radiation, the possibility of electromagnetic pulse disabling communications and the devastation from the initial blast on human life and infrastructure, Foreign Policy reported.

Citing figures from Rand Corp, a US global policy think tank, the report claimed a nuclear blast at the Long Beach Port could cause more than $1.2 trillion in damage plus significant loss of life.

In another section called "radiation protection basics”, the report offers steps on what to do during a nuclear attack.

"Lie face down and place hands under the body to protect exposed skin,” it recommends. "Remain flat until the heat and shock waves have passed.”

It also warned authorities would likely be of little help in the immediate aftermath, saying there would be "no significant federal assistance at the scene for 24-72 hours after the attack”.

The public would need to evacuate but with "limited understanding of radiation risks, they will experience high anxiety and may be non-compliant.”

It also flagged challenges with contamination spread by pets and through clothing among the myriad of public health and logistical coordination issues emergency responders will face.

The idea behind the unclassified report was to share planning and guidance with as wide a distribution network as possible, Foreign Policy reported citing two officials involved in responding to a nuclear strike.

- staff writer