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The Honolulu Advertiser

Updated at 12:16 p.m., Monday, November 27, 2006

Unfounded quake, tsunami rumor postpones siren test

Advertiser Staff

A test of a Civil Defense siren scheduled for this morning at Waimanalo Beach Park has been postponed because of unfounded rumors of an impending earthquake and subsequent tsunami, state Civil Defense officials said today.

The siren was taken out of service because of mechanical problems and a pole that needed to be replaced.

Residents in the area were scheduled to hear the siren intermittently starting at 9 a.m. this morning.

Rumors spread rapidly yesterday that the Big Island was going to be hit with a significant earthquake that would generate a devastating tsunami.

The rumors caused callers to flood Civil Defense and media phone lines yesterday and last night, prompting Hawai'i television stations to repeatedly run news "crawls" debunking the rumor.