Nearly 1 in 10 Big Island emergency warning sirens inoperable

  • The siren in Napoopoo has not worked for months. (Karen Anderson/Special to West Hawaii Today)
  • The siren in Napoopoo Village has not worked for months. (Karen Anderson/Special to West Hawaii Today)

  • A police officer walks down Puuhonua Road in Napoopoo Village after the 2011 tsunami devastated the area. (Chelsea Jensen/West Hawaii Today file photo)

KAILUA-KONA — When a tsunami is heading toward Hawaii Island shores, sirens blare a warning sound alerting residents and visitors to get to higher ground. But what if the siren never sounds?