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Maui emergency chief resigns after defending decision to not suggested sirens for the length of wildfire

On this image taken from video, Maui Emergency Management Agency Administrator Herman Andaya speaks for the length of a news conference in Wailuku, Hawaii, Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023.

AP | Mike Householder

The head of Maui County’s emergency management company resigned on Thursday, a day after he defended his decision to not suggested sirens for the length of catastrophic wildfires which win taken extra than 100 lives.

Maui Emergency Management Agency administrator Herman Andaya cited properly being causes for his resignation, which took instantaneous invent.

Andaya used to be asked Wednesday whether he regretted not activating emergency sirens as wildfires spread across West Maui: “I invent not,” he stated at a press conference

Andaya stated the sirens are mainly old for tsunamis and the public is skilled to envision higher ground. Escaping to higher ground would had been dreadful for the length of the wildfires, he stated.

“We had been worried folks would win long gone ‘mauka,'” Andaya stated, the utilization of a Hawaiian observe for mountainside. “And if that used to be the case they might perhaps win long gone into the fireplace.”

Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen stated he would snarl another choice to Andaya rapidly: “Given the gravity of the crisis we are facing, my group and I will be putting someone in this key location as instant as doable,” Bissen stated in a press liberate Thursday.

On the least 111 folks win perished in the blaze as of Wednesday, with the death toll expected to upward thrust as search dogs proceed to comb the wreckage of the devastated ancient city of Lahaina. The inferno is the deadliest wildfire in the U.S. in extra than a century and the worst catastrophe in Hawaii remark ancient past.

Grunt and local emergency management officials face rising scrutiny over whether or not they did enough to alert the public as the wildfires spread.

Hawaii Attorney Trendy Anne Lopez announced on Thursday that she will tap an fair investigator to review the remark and local response to the wildfires.

“This is likely to be an fair, fair review,” Lopez stated in a press liberate.

Hawaii Gov. Josh Inexperienced stated Wednesday the review is not a criminal investigation.

“It be not a criminal investigation the least bit,” Inexperienced stated. “Factual now we are working to learn the plan we also will make certain it is safe as we war by storm season, as we take care of the actuality that there might perhaps be fires month in and month out for the a long time to method.”

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