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Sirens blare as hurricane approaches Hawaii

Sirens sound on the island of Oahu as Hurricane Lane approaches Hawaii. CNN's Natasha Chen reports.

Posted: Aug 24, 2018 11:24 PM
Updated: Aug 24, 2018 11:46 PM

Sirens echoed loud and clear in O'ahu ahead of Hurricane Lane, the major storm that is forcing Hawaii officials to go all out trying to warn residents.

Residents in Hawaii have recently faced devastating volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, but it's the first time in decades that a Category 3 cyclone has come this close to the islands.

With nearly 300,000 tourists in the state and many residents who have never lived through a hurricane, authorities are not waiting until the last minute to get the word out.

On Thursday, the shrill sound of emergency sirens rang for three minutes. It was the latest attempt by authorities to encourage people to evacuate from areas prone to flooding.

"This is being done now so that anyone who wants to get to a shelter can do so safely while there is still daylight," Honolulu county and city officials said in a news release.

It was also a reminder that several shelters are open on the island, officials said.

In a news conference, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said authorities were taking "so much precaution" because of the potential life-threatening impacts of Lane.

"We don't want people after the fact saying, 'why didn't you alert us, why didn't you alert us?'"

Caldwell said the county is working to get ahead of the storm, which is expected to bring tropical storm-force winds and heavy rain Thursday and Friday.

Torrential rains from the storm already have triggered landslides and caused flooding on other islands.

Fire engines and other emergency vehicles also blasted an emergency message using their speakers.

"A hurricane warning is in effect. Extremely dangerous wind and flooding may occur tonight. Flooding may occur in coastal areas, near streams, and low lying areas. If your home is threatened, leave the area," a portion of the message said.

There are more than 170 outdoor warning sirens in O'ahu, CNN affiliate KGMB reported, but the alarm is inaudible in parts of the island.

A massive text warning was also sent to mobile phones.

"Extremely dangerous winds and flooding possible, leave the area if threatened," the message said.

The alarm and emergency messages were sent only to people in O'ahu. The system used Thursday was operated locally but it was installed by the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency. Earlier this year, the same agency was under investigation after an employee sent a false ballistic missile alert statewide.

In a tweet, Gov. David Ige said all the mayors in Hawaii are free to decide whether they want to use the outdoor siren warning system.

And the siren alarm can mean something different in each county, he added.

In the eastern town of Kailua, Nathan Pablo said the sirens took on a new meaning on Thursday.

"Emergency sirens here in Kailua. Heard them all my life when they were tested every month, never heard them used for real," he wrote in a video post on Facebook.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 113876

Reported Deaths: 3238
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7850176
DeSoto685779
Harrison505083
Jackson445084
Rankin388186
Madison377993
Lee350779
Forrest299578
Jones287784
Washington255199
Lafayette245943
Lauderdale2418134
Lamar221238
Bolivar200177
Oktibbeha199354
Neshoba1831111
Lowndes176362
Panola169038
Leflore165187
Sunflower159749
Warren153655
Monroe147372
Pontotoc145819
Marshall139227
Lincoln138557
Pike137756
Copiah136236
Coahoma124736
Scott124729
Grenada121138
Yazoo120733
Simpson120449
Union116525
Tate114939
Leake114340
Holmes114160
Pearl River112259
Itawamba112125
Adams106743
Prentiss103719
Wayne99821
Alcorn98112
George97718
Covington95326
Marion93542
Tippah88121
Newton85227
Chickasaw83626
Tallahatchie83025
Winston82821
Tishomingo80041
Hancock79827
Attala78926
Clarke73450
Clay68321
Jasper67717
Walthall63627
Calhoun61912
Noxubee59617
Smith58916
Montgomery53523
Claiborne53316
Tunica52817
Yalobusha51914
Lawrence50714
Perry48623
Carroll47612
Greene46918
Stone46214
Humphreys42616
Amite42113
Quitman4196
Jefferson Davis40011
Webster37013
Wilkinson33520
Benton3255
Kemper32015
Sharkey28014
Jefferson27410
Franklin2373
Choctaw2046
Issaquena1074
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 155915

Reported Deaths: 2674
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22861374
Mobile14468314
Tuscaloosa10148139
Montgomery9875196
Madison915094
Shelby720462
Lee649665
Baldwin647569
Marshall433049
Calhoun418960
Etowah418749
Morgan403635
Houston369232
DeKalb330229
Elmore314852
St. Clair287142
Limestone276530
Walker272293
Talladega261035
Cullman235724
Lauderdale214841
Jackson210015
Autauga202330
Franklin202131
Colbert196731
Russell19233
Blount189325
Dallas186227
Chilton184132
Escambia171929
Coffee171710
Covington169929
Dale165451
Chambers133643
Pike132313
Tallapoosa130587
Clarke130017
Marion106229
Butler100140
Barbour9979
Marengo99222
Winston91313
Geneva8527
Pickens82417
Lawrence82131
Randolph81216
Bibb81114
Hale74930
Clay72912
Cherokee72614
Lowndes70328
Monroe64010
Henry6396
Bullock63717
Washington63412
Crenshaw60230
Perry5836
Wilcox56212
Fayette56113
Conecuh55713
Cleburne5438
Macon52920
Sumter47021
Lamar4665
Choctaw38812
Greene34216
Coosa2023
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