At least 96 people have died on the Hawaiian island of Maui in the deadliest wildfire in the United States in more than a century. She criticized the authorities for their mishandling.
The historic port city of Lahaina on the island of Maui has been nearly leveled after wildfires that started on Tuesday of last week. Survivors said there were no warnings about the fire.
Questions are now being raised about how prepared the authorities are for such an incident. This is despite the fact that the Hawaiian archipelago is particularly vulnerable to natural disasters such as tsunamis, earthquakes, and strong storms.
Emergency notification failed
In its 2022 Hawaii Emergency Preparedness Plan, the state described the risk of wildfires affecting people in Hawaii as low.
Nor did the sirens that were supposed to warn the population seem to have worked. Due to a series of power outages as a result of a wildfire in Maui, many people have not received emergency alerts on their phones.
Do you know how I found out about the fire? When I saw the fire burning across the street, Maui resident Vilma Reed told AFP.
The Hawaii Attorney General announced an investigation into the fire.
Hawaii State Senator Mazie Hirono did not respond to questions about whether the siren was activated prior to the investigation.
– There are no excuses for this fire confirming the opposite CNN.
She added that the authorities are now focusing on rescue work and locating more victims.
Thousands of homeless
Preliminary estimates showed that more than 2,200 structures were either damaged or destroyed by the wildfires that swept through the city of Lahaina, which was hit particularly hard.
The cost of the destruction is estimated at around NOK 60 billion. Several thousand have lost their homes.
Police have asked people who have lost relatives to provide DNA so that the identification process can go faster.
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