Hawaii Death Toll Nears 100: Warning System Failure

Hawaii Death Toll Nears 100 Hundred: Warning System Failure

Kanako Mita and Noriko Watanabe

Modern Tokyo Times

The death toll in Hawaii from wildfires is now 96. It is expected to increase over the following week. Hundreds of people remain missing concerning the failed system that left people to fend for themselves. Hence, events in Lahaina remain sketchy about the lack of support from authorities – while more bodies are still being found.

CNN reports, “…the state’s vaunted integrated outdoor siren warning system – the largest in the world, with about 400 alarms – was not activated during the fires, according to Hawaii Emergency Management Agency spokesperson Adam Weintraub.”

Accordingly, the 80 emergency outdoor sirens on Maui to alert people from ensuing natural disasters failed to work.

The Independent Reports, “In the hours before a wildfire engulfed the town of Lahaina, Maui County officials failed to activate sirens that would have warned the entire population of the approaching flames and instead relied on a series of sometimes confusing social media posts that reached a much smaller audience.”

Other failures include the town’s water system. Indeed, it is difficult to believe that Hawaii is part of America – given the shambolic approach taken by authorities and the failed emergency system.

The New York Times reports, “The collapse of the town’s water system, described to The New York Times by several people on scene, is yet another disastrous factor in a confluence that ended up producing what is now the deadliest U.S. wildfire in more than 100 years. The lack of water forced firefighters into an extraordinary rush to save lives by risking their own, and it has left people searching for answers about how the community can better prepare for a world of fiercer winds and drier lands.”

One can imagine the anger that will emerge once all the missing people have been accounted for – alive or dead.

Josh Green, the Governor of Hawaii, said concerning Lahaina: “There is nothing to see except full devastation.”

The BBC reports, “The deadly fire in Lahaina is still burning and is about 85% contained, according to Maui County officials. How the fire started remains unconfirmed, though it was fuelled by winds from nearby Hurricane Dora and drought conditions.”

Hawaii Electric – in line with the shambolic failure of authorities and the emergency system – allegedly failed to shut off downed electricity lines, which made the crisis even more severe for the people of Lahaina.

Lee Jay Walker says, “The population growth in Hawaii, millions of international tourists, and non-native grasses (more flammable than indigenous plants) are also putting natural stresses on Hawaii.”

During the “hour of need,” the people of Lahaina were failed abysmally by the shambolic system.

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