Cause of


Hawaii County Civil Defense officials are still trying to determine why a warning siren in the Kealakehe area sounded Tuesday evening.

Civil Defense Administrator Ben Fuata said the crew he sent to investigate the siren malfunction had to turn around because of a fatality that closed Highway 11 Wednesday. The crew should be able to drive to the siren today, he added.

“We were notified by police dispatch” of the siren sounding, Fuata said.

People in Kealakehe called the police after hearing the siren at about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday. Firefighters responded to the siren and manually turned it off, Fuata said. They noticed, in the siren, an ant infestation, but Fuata said he did not yet know if that was the cause of the malfunction.

Fuata said he does not have any plans to station Civil Defense staff or other people near sirens during the monthly routine tests, to listen to confirm the siren sounds. The agency has contacts — business owners and residents — near each of the county’s 71 sirens, and after each test, Civil Defense staff reach out to those contacts to see if they heard the sirens.