Insects May Have Caused Tuesday’s Siren Malfunction

December 5, 2012, 6:13 PM HST
* Updated December 5, 6:15 PM
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County officials said today that insects may be to blame for a state civil defense siren that went off unexpectedly Tuesday morning near Kealakehe Elementary School in Kailua-Kona.

The siren sounded shortly before 9:15 a.m. A Hawaii Fire Department crew was dispatched to the scene and manually shut it down several minutes later.

A maintenance crew from the police department’s radio shop today inspected the siren system. Although the cause of the malfunction has not been determined, some of the system’s components were found to be infested with ants, the county said in a statement issued today.

Insect infestations and geckos have been associated with siren malfunctions in the past, the county said.

Repairs to the siren are scheduled for Thursday.


The state Legislature has appropriated $16.4 million to renovate the statewide warning system, much of which dates back to the 1960s.

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