The emergency worker who sent a false public safety alert on Jan. 13 warning of an imminent attack against Hawaii believed that a ballistic missile was truly bound for the state after mishearing a recorded message as part of an unscheduled drill, according to a preliminary investigation by federal officials.
But what if it were a real alert due to a missile from North Korea?
North Korea says it has conducted five successful nuclear tests: in 2006, 2009, 2013 and in January and September 2016, and the yield of the bombs appears to have increased.
September 2016’s test has indicated a device with an explosive yield of between 10 and 30 kilotonnes – which, if confirmed, would make it the North’s strongest nuclear test ever.
What if that bomb were directed at Cape Charles? Using NUKEMAP, you can detonate a sample bomb and estimate the results. For this test, we used a 25 kiloton nuclear bomb, dropped right on Cape Charles:
In any given 24-hour period, there are approximately 1,439 people in the 1 psi range of the most recent detonation.