Maui News

Cause of Siren Malfunction on Maui Probed

July 13, 2011, 3:49 PM HST
* Updated July 13, 5:01 PM
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By Wendy Osher

An overnight malfunction of Civil Defense Warning sirens on Maui has been traced back to several older model units.  County officials say that while all sirens involved in the malfunction were older models, the cause of the false alert remains under investigation.

The first malfunction took place at 8:37 p.m. on Tuesday, July 12, 2011, followed by another malfunction at 12:40 a.m. on Wednesday, July 13, 2011.

The faulty alert occurred at sirens in Central Maui and at least one in the Makena area of South Maui.  All units were older models that are already scheduled to be upgraded as part of a statewide siren modernization program.

The sirens are traditionally used to alert the public when there is a emergency.  When they are sounded, an audible tone is emitted, serving as an indication for the public to turn on their radio or television.

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In an actual emergency, Civil Defense siren activation must be done in conjunction with the Emergency Alert System. Therefore, if residents do not immediately hear an EAS message, County authorities say, there is no emergency situation.

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The County quickly moved to inform the public about the nature of the malfunction by reaching out to local media and news outlets following the incident.

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