September 23, 2023

Jeremy Childs | Los Angeles Occasions (TNS)

As officers overview the emergency response to the Lahaina fireplace and what might have been completed in a different way, one query continues to pop up: Why weren’t there sirens?

Herman Andaya, who leads Maui’s Emergency Administration Company, addressed the problem throughout a Wednesday afternoon information convention that grew tense at instances as reporters asserted that the determination to not use sirens might have led to lack of life.

“Do you remorse not sounding the sirens?” requested a reporter with CBS Information.

“I don’t,” Andaya responded.

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The island’s outside siren system was designed for tsunamis, not wildfires, he stated, and isn’t a part of the company’s customary response protocol.

“The general public is educated to hunt larger floor within the occasion that the siren has sounded,” he stated.

As a substitute, Andaya defined, the company used a number of different forms of emergency notifications to alert individuals to the fireplace. A number of the techniques used had been wi-fi emergency alerts, which ship textual content messages to residents, and the emergency alert system, which broadcasts emergency notifications by way of tv and radio. Different native alert techniques, similar to MEMA alerts, have additionally been used up to now.

“It’s our apply to make use of the best technique of conveying an emergency message to the general public throughout a wildland fireplace,” Andaya stated.

Andaya additionally famous lots of the sirens are alongside the shoreline, not on the mountain aspect of Lahaina, which is the place the fireplace ignited.

Hawaii Gov. Josh Inexperienced backed Andaya on the information convention, recounting his personal expertise when he got here to the state to apply drugs.

“After I first moved to Hawaii, individuals informed me in the event you hear a siren, it’s a tsunami and go to excessive floor,” Inexperienced stated.

Andaya is going through criticism on subjects moreover the choice on sounding the sirens. Honolulu Civil Beat, a nonprofit information group, revealed an article Wednesday calling out Andaya’s lack {of professional} expertise in emergency administration management previous to his choice to guide the EMA.