Fearful Californians prepare for nuclear attack

THE GUARDIAN – ANDREW GUMBEL

Photo: San Diego County by Joe Mabel

Hal Kempfer, a noted international security expert, is getting a roomful of California public health officials and emergency responders to think about the unthinkable – a nuclear bomb exploding at the port of Long Beach, about four miles away.

His message – coming on the same day North Korea threatened to reduce the mainland United States to “ashes and darkness” and then launched a ballistic missile over Japan – is unvarnished and uncompromising: get ready, because we all need to prepare for what comes after.

“A lot of people will be killed,” he said, “but a large percentage of the population will survive. They will be at risk and they will need help.”

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