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Maui emergency chief quits over decision not to sound sirens as fires spread – live


Wildfire roars through Hawaii’s historic Lahaina

The head of the Maui Emergency Management Agency resigned abruptly on Thursday, as officials come under increased scrutiny over the response to the devastating wildfires.

The resignation of Herman Andaya comes a day after he defended his decision of not using outdoor alert sirens during the wildfires that devastated the historic seaside community of Lahaina and have killed at least 111 people so far.

Mr Andaya cited unspecified health reasons, with no further details provided in his letter.

“Given the gravity of the crisis we are facing, my team and I will be placing someone in this key position as quickly as possible,” Mayor Richard Bissen said in the statement.

Meanwhile, search efforts are underway, as residents of Maui are reporting that investors and realtors are trying to capitalise on the wildfires to purchase land from locals.
“We’re not going to allow it,” Governor Josh Green said.

The Hawaii governor said he expects re-building the burned area of Maui to cost $5 billion or more. Already, federal, state and local relief aid has been directed toward Maui.

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How Hawaii residents are uniting to help victims as aid makes the long journey to the fire-stricken island

Volunteers on Maui have cobbled together countless improvised, urgent solutions like shipments of insulin in response to the country’s deadliest wildfire in over a century, which has killed more than 100 people and displaced thousands.

As nonprofit groups struggle to deliver aid to the second-farthest state from the US mainland, here’s how mutual aid groups and local businesses are helping fill the cracks.

Stuti Mishra18 August 2023 07:40

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How officials are identifying charred bodies after Maui fires

As agonised loved ones yearn for information about those missing in Maui after the United States’ deadliest wildfire in more than a century, officials are struggling to identify the remains of more than 100 victims.

The advent of DNA technology and subsequent advances have provided powerful tools. But finding remains, zeroing in on genetic material or other clues and amassing the information needed to get a match still takes time – if certainty comes at all.

Here’s a look at how the work of identification unfolds:

Stuti Mishra18 August 2023 07:21

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Full story: Maui wildfire official quits after defending decision not to sound sirens warning of blaze

Maui’s top emergencies official has abruptly resigned as local authorities came under increasing scrutiny over their response to the devastating wildfires that have killed at least 111 people on the Hawaiian island so far.

Herman Andaya, the chief of the Maui Emergency Management Agency, sent his letter of resignation to mayor Richard Bissen on Thursday, and it was accepted immediately, the county of Maui confirmed in a statement.

Here’s what he said about his decisions in response to the wildfires and everything that led to his resignation:

Stuti Mishra18 August 2023 07:00

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Search for missing moves beyond Lahaina

The painstaking search for human remains through a burned-out area of ash and debris in Lahaina has covered at least 45 per cent of houses, governor Josh Green said on Thursday.

Authorities say the search for the missing has moved beyond Lahaina to other communities that were destroyed.

However, it will probably continue for at least another week.

The FBI’s Honolulu division said it is helping Maui police locate and identify missing people. Immediate family members who are on Maui can provide DNA samples at the Hyatt Recency in Kaanapali beginning Friday, and those elsewhere can contact the FBI for instructions.

Stuti Mishra18 August 2023 06:45

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Maui power authority responds to criticism

The Hawaii power authority has responded to criticism over leaving power lines on amid strong winds.

One video showed a cable dangling in a charred patch of grass, surrounded by flames, in the early moments, leading to speculations of a downed line being a possible cause of the wildfire.

“Facts about this event will continue to evolve,” Hawaiian Electric CEO Shelee Kimura wrote in an email to utility customers on Thursday, according to AP.

“And while we may not have answers for some time, we are committed, working with many others, to find out what happened as we continue to urgently focus on Maui’s restoration and rebuilding efforts.”

Stuti Mishra18 August 2023 06:20

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Watch: Maui official explained why they did not sound sirens before Hawaii wildfires

Maui official explains why they did not sound sirens before Hawaii wildfires

Stuti Mishra18 August 2023 05:30

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Maui’s emergency services chief resigns after facing criticism

The head of the Maui Emergency Management Agency resigned abruptly on Thursday, a day after saying he had no regrets about not using sirens to warn residents of wildfires that devastated the historic seaside community of Lahaina and killed at least 111 people.

That decision from the agency directed by administrator Herman Andaya, coupled with water shortages that hampered firefighters and an escape route that became clogged with vehicles, has brought intense criticism from many residents.

Mayor Richard Bissen accepted Andaya’s resignation effective immediately, the County of Maui announced on Facebook. Andaya cited unspecified health reasons, with no further details provided.

“Given the gravity of the crisis we are facing, my team and I will be placing someone in this key position as quickly as possible,” Mr Bissen said in the statement.

A day earlier, Andaya defended the decision not to sound sirens as the flames raged. Hawaii has what it touts as the largest system of outdoor alert sirens in the world.

“We were afraid that people would have gone mauka,” Mr Andaya said, using a Hawaiian word that means inland or toward the mountain. “If that was the case, then they would have gone into the fire.”

Stuti Mishra18 August 2023 04:47

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Karine Jean-Pierre suffers social media mishap as she posts message meant for Biden’s account

‘When I ran for President, I made a promise that I would leave no part of the country behind,’ White House press secretary unexpectedly declared on social media

Ariana Baio18 August 2023 04:00

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Watch: Kamala Harris snaps at climate heckler during Massachusetts speech: ‘I’m speaking’

Kamala Harris snaps at climate heckler during Massachusetts speech

Ariana Baio18 August 2023 03:00

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Who are the Maui wildfire victims?

Raging wildfires in Maui have left at least 106 people dead and thousands of others missing after they were forced to flee their homes.

“We are heartsick that we’ve had such loss,” Hawaii governor Josh Green said during a news conference on Tuesday.

Mr Green said he expects the death toll to rise every day as recovery teams and cadaver dogs search the burned area in Lahaina on Maui. Despite the number of deaths increasing, only a few of the 111 have been identified.

Ariana Baio18 August 2023 02:00



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