Posted BY: Bill | NwoReport
The head of Maui’s Emergency Management Agency, Chief Herman Andaya, has resigned from his position due to health reasons. This decision comes shortly after he faced criticism for not activating warning sirens during a devastating wildfire across the island. In a press conference, Chief Andaya defended his choice to rely on alerts through mobile devices, radio, television, and the resident alert system rather than sounding the sirens. He argued that the sirens are typically used for tsunami warnings and could have led people toward the fire instead of safety.
Despite Chief Andaya’s explanation, many have raised concerns that the warning sirens could have saved lives, as the death toll from the wildfire has now risen to at least 111 people. The tragedy has especially impacted children left at home when schools were closed due to power outages.
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Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen accepted Chief Andaya’s resignation, acknowledging the seriousness of the situation and the need for a quick replacement. Governor Josh Green and Mayor Bissen defended Andaya against criticism regarding his qualifications and experience, asserting he was indeed qualified for the role.
While search teams have covered only 38 percent of the affected area, the death toll is expected to rise further in the coming weeks. The incident has highlighted the challenges faced by families who struggle to find childcare options when schools are closed, emphasizing the economic difficulties many parents in the region face. With Chief Andaya’s resignation, Maui’s emergency response leadership is set to change during this tragedy. As the community mourns the lives lost and assesses the consequences of the wildfire, a new leader will soon be appointed to guide the island’s emergency management efforts and ensure the safety of its residents in the future.