Maui’s chief of emergency operations has sparked controversy over his decision not to use warning sirens during the catastrophic wildfires, raising doubts and concerns about his qualifications.
The island is now under scrutiny as evidence suggests there were significant red flags before and during the catastrophic event.
Maui’s chief of emergency operations, Herman Andaya, had no traditional background in disaster response, an alarming revelation that has raised concerns over his decision-making.
Endaya’s department was responsible for sounding the warning sirens, but these vital alarms remained ominously silent during the firestorm.
The devastating fire that ravaged the beautiful island of Maui started at 12:22 a.m. At which time the residents were curled up in their beds, completely unaware of the impending disaster.
Had those sirens activated, it is possible that residents would have received the critical warning they needed, possibly giving them time to evacuate and seek safety. The sirens remained silent, leaving many to wonder what might have happened.
In a press conference that has already become infamous, Chief Andaya defended his choice to send alerts through mobile devices, radio waves, television and the county’s opt-in resident alert system, rather than using sirens .
Endaya stressed that sirens are generally reserved for tsunami warnings, and that Hawaiians are trained to seek higher ground when they sound, which, in this dire scenario, could lead them to the flames. go.
“As I mentioned earlier, sirens are mainly used for tsunamis. And that is why there are so many of them. Almost all of them are found on the beach. The public is trained to seek higher ground in case the siren sounds,” claimed Andaya.
“In fact, on the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency website, firing guidelines are provided. If you are in a low-lying area near the beach, move indoors to higher ground or to the fourth floor or higher of a concrete building. Alerts can also come in the form of wireless emergency alerts,” he said.
“If we had sounded the siren that night, we are afraid that people would have committed the crime [toward the mountains], And if it were so, they would have gone into the fire.”
“I should also note that there are no sirens on the spot, or side of the mountain, where the fire was spreading. So even if we had sounded the siren, we would not have been able to save those people on the mountain,” he added.
Maui Emergency Operations Chief Herman Andaya says he has no regrets for not sounding the siren during the devastating wildfires:
“The public is trained to seek higher ground in the event of sirens sounding… If that were the case, they would have gone into the fire.” pic.twitter.com/0FpPhuI4hK
– recalculate (@there) 17 August 2023
The press did not shy away from asking whether Andaya would consider delegating further responsibility to others. In response, he categorically rejected the notion that he had no experience prior to assuming his current role.
He pointed to his employment history as an employee in the Department of Housing and in the mayor’s cabinet, during which time he reported to emergency operations centers.
Endaya said, “To say that I am not worthy, I think is wrong.”
Below is the weather for Maui, Hawaii for the month of August weather25.com,
Below is the historical weather data for Lahaina, Maui Washington Post, The data below is from 1961-1990.