East Hawaii News

Hilo, Puna Emergency Siren Failures Traced to Repeater Site

July 3, 2013, 10:28 AM HST
* Updated July 3, 10:30 AM
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Problems with a radio transmission repeater site on Mauna Loa resulted in the failure Monday of 18 of the Big Island’s 71 emergency warning sirens, Hawaii County civil defense officials said.

The repeater site that didn’t work was located in the Kulani area, and the sirens that failed to sound were located primarily in Hilo and Puna, Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira said.

He said the repeater site has been repaired, and the public will be notified in advance of a follow-up test to be conducted.

A statewide upgrade planned for the emergency warning system owned by the Hawaii State Civil Defense Agency will give priority to replacement of existing sirens as well as installation of new ones in tsunami evacuation areas.

Until that upgrade is completed, the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency will continue to work with its state counterparts to maintain the existing system.


“The upgraded system, based on redundant satellite and cellular communications links, will bring more reliability and flexibility in sounding sirens,” Oliveira said.


He noted that the sirens are just one facet of a comprehensive emergency notification strategy which also includes the sending of phone, text and email alerts through mass notification systems, civil defense messages on radio and television stations, and manual notification by police, fire and Civil Air Patrol.

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