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“Runaway” Civil Defense Siren

The Hawaiʻi Police Department received a report of a “runaway” Civil Defense siren that was activated shortly before 1:20 a.m. Wednesday (June 11) in the area of the Honomū gym.

 

Civildefense

With assistance from the Hawaiʻi County Fire Department, the siren was turned off.

On Thursday (June 12) while personnel were looking into the cause of the runaway siren on Wednesday, it was inadvertently activated again shortly before 9:30 a.m.

Police apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

All But Two Civil Defense Sirens Fixed

To expedite repairs to Civil Defense warning sirens that didn’t function properly during November’s monthly siren test, State Civil Defense technicians flew to the Big Island Friday to inspect and repair four sirens on the west side of the island (Puakō, Kamehameha Park, Kahaluʻu Beach Park and Nāpoʻopoʻo).


Meanwhile, personnel from Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense and the Hawaiʻi Police Department’s Radio Shop worked through the weekend to oversee and inspect seven sirens on the east side of the island. Of those, two functioned properly (Kawailani and Paʻauilo), three were repaired over the weekend (Pāpaʻikou, ʻOʻōkala and Paradise Park and) and one (Honokaʻa) was completed Monday (November 5) by a private contractor.

State Civil Defense technicians returned to the Big Island on Monday and repaired the siren at Laupāhoehoe Point.

The two remaining sirens that are not functioning, one at Hakalau, which was knocked over in a car crash, and one at Waiaka, which has a frozen motor, require new parts and extensive work by private contractors. State Civil Defense hopes to have the Hakalau siren in operation in time for the December monthly test. A time line has not been established for the Waiaka siren.

Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense Administrator Ben Fuata said he appreciates the assistance of the Police Department and State Civil Defense for working “tirelessly” through the weekend along with his staff. “We’ve made a substantial dent in improving the efficiency and enhancing the readiness of our emergency siren alerting system,” Fuata said. “For that I am grateful and indebted to them for their service.”

Police Chief Harry S. Kubojiri added that the collaboration of the three agencies and private contractors is an example of the Police Department’s partnership with the community. “The public’s safety is our number one concern,” Kubojiri said. “That cannot be compromised.”

County of Hawaii: “Technical Challenges Initially With Our Siren System During Last Night’s Tsunami Warning”

 

Media Release:

The tsunami advisory for the State of Hawai‘i ended this morning at 3:58 a.m. following a magnitude 7.7 earthquake in the Queen Charlotte Islands region off the coast of Canada at 5:04 p.m. HST. We are grateful this morning to report that through the coordination of our first responders and the cooperation of the community, all of our shoreline and low-lying areas were evacuated safely during last night’s tsunami warning. We have received no reports of injury or serious property damage.

Although there were technical challenges initially with our siren system during last night’s tsunami warning, the challenges were addressed. The sirens are just one facet of our comprehensive emergency notification strategy, which includes sounding sirens, sending 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.

Police and Fire personnel were deployed immediately to shoreline areas to notify people of the evacuation. Two fire helicopters, a privately contracted helicopter, and a Civil Air Patrol plane were in the air to monitor the shoreline and further notify people in difficult to access shoreline areas and ensure that the areas were clear.

Our human response was executed according to plan. In spite of the technical challenges earlier in the evening, we were able to safely execute a complete island-wide evacuation of shoreline and low-lying areas by 10:05 p.m.

During our next monthly siren test on Nov. 1, we will be stationing personnel at all sirens to ensure that they are operating as expected in concert with Hawai‘i State Civil Defense. State Civil Defense owns the sirens and takes care of repairs, while Hawai‘i County Civil Defense coordinates the operation of the sirens and conducts monthly tests.

What Happened to the Civil Defense Sirens During Last Nights Tsunami Warnings

Well as everyone knows by now we had a big scare again with a Tsunami Warning that happened following a 7.7 magnitude earthquake off the British Columbia coastline.

I was following the story fairly closely but was pretty concerned because the Civil Defense Sirens were not going off and nothing was being reported on the Civil Defense Page about the possible incoming tsunami.

In fact the only thing the Civil Defense Page did report was the following nearly 5 hours after the first wave was suppose to hit:

“This is a Civil Defense Message for Sunday October 28, 2012 at 4:15 AM

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has cancelled the tsunami advisory for the Island of Hawaii, however small sea level changes and strong or unusual currents may persist for several additional hours.  Beaches will remain closed until further notice.  This will be the final message issued for this event unless conditions change.

This is your Hawaii County Civil Defense”

I first learned about it at 7:15 pm Hawaii time and didn’t even hear the first siren in Pahoa until nearly 9:15 in the evening!

[youtube=http://youtu.be/5ei7Uc2Dj2k]

I know that the sirens were going off in Kona earlier as my wife was staying at the Keauhou Resort for a soccer tournament and they got evacuated as soon as the sirens went off over there around 8:30.

I was getting facebook reports from other parts of the island that they weren’t hearing sirens either.

Big Island Video News posted a video of the strange tidal action that was happening shortly after the tsunami hit and you can view that here “Video: Tsunami Brings Strange Tides to Wailoa Boat Harbor“.

Hawaii State Civil Defense to Test 13 Oahu Outdoor Warning Sirens on Wednesday and Thursday

Department of Emergency Management Message:

State Civil Defense will test 13 Oahu sirens this week Wednesday and Thursday, March 23-24, 2011.

Residents in the areas listed below may hear the steady siren tone during the scheduled times and should not be alarmed.

The sirens and schedule for testing is:

Wednesday, 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Makaha North
Waianae Shopping Center
Nanaikapono School
Honouliuli

Wednesday, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Sandy Beach
Hanauma Bay
Maunalua Beach Park
Kamioiki Neighborhood Park

Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Aikahi Park
Heeia Kea Pier
Ahuimanu Sewage Treatment Plant
Waihole Beach Park

Thursday, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Turtle Bay

Times are approximate and may change based on installation times. Residents in these areas may call State Civil Defense at 733-4300 with any questions or concerns.

Warning… Sirens

This is pretty cool… well at least to me.

This guy (reception73) on Oahu is putting a lot of the warning sirens on youtube.

Here is a few samples that he has posted over the years.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUKKWjAU6a0&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpaSBguczmY&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0s-48IafLw&hl=en_US&fs=1&]