August 16, 2023

USA: Maui Officials Cut Off Water Supply. School Was Cancelled That Morning Children Home Alone. Police Blocked Roads That Led To Safety. Insurance Won't Pay Because Land Rezoned Commercial.

UPDATE 8/18/23 at 12:36am: Added info below.

WOW just WOW police did block all paths to safety and forced cars to turn back toward the fire!!! Here is video evidence! Maui and Hawaii authorities have lied about everything. First the Mayor of Maui lied said the sirens were not used because the power lines shut off the power and then the Maui Emergency manager lied about the sirens not used for fires and then the Maui Police Chief lied at the news conference yesterday when he said only one road was blocked by police when in fact it was many roads leading to safety were blocked by police. People were burned to death in their cars waiting to get out because of authorities. Authorities were all so arrogant, offended and confrontational toward honest questions being asked by reporters about their response to this atrocity at the news conference Wednesday night patting each other on the back for their "enlightened leadership" and stellar emergency response. I hear people saying we need to show these officials respect. Well, they didn't respect the people they were in charge to protect and serve during an emergency situation and allowed them to die a horrible death. They need to be fired for their incompetence, ineptitude, gross negligence, and callousness. All of Hawaii should be outraged, especially Maui residents. Actions speak louder than words. (emphasis mine)
Jonathan Petramala published August 17, 2023: Chaotic Maui Evacuation: Police Block Exits As Wildfire Forces Ocean Escape. Firsthand accounts of survivors from the deadly wildfires that devastated Maui in August 2023 are in part 2 of my documentary "Hell in Paradise" (part 1 here: • Families flee wildfires into ocean as... ) Includes dramatic video footage showing the chaotic evacuation of Lahaina as police blocked streets, forcing residents to abandon vehicles and jump into the ocean to escape the raging flames. Interviews with teens who escaped with their mother by swimming out to sea, a survivor who huddled under a wet blanket in a canal, and others who recount their harrowing stories of survival. The fast-moving wildfires leveled most of the historic town, killing over 100 people. It's the deadliest wildfire in over a century in the United States. Also we take a close look at the iconic 150-year-old banyan tree that had become a symbol of Lahaina. A heartbreaking look at the devastation from Hawai'i's worst wildfire disaster.

UPDATE 8/17/23 at 1:08pm: Added info below.
CBS News August 17, 2023: Outrage grows over Maui wildfire response; survivor describes hiding in pool. A sole official in Maui is tasked with deciding when to activate warning sirens that sound out on Hawaii's second-largest island during emergencies.

In the case of blazing wildfires that leveled the historic town of Lahaina and left over 100 dead last week, that official chose not to sound the alarms -- a decision he is now defending. CBS News correspondent Jonathan Vigliotti has more on the wildfire response. And Kristina Lee-Garrido, who was visiting Lahaina when the wildfire started, joined CBS News with her thoughts on the lack of warning and her recount of survival by hiding in a pool.
CBS reports that according the Hawaii state's own emergency response website, "The all-hazard siren system can be used for a variety of both natural and human-caused events. including tsunamis, hurricanes, dam beaches, flooding, WILDFIRES, volcanic eruptions, terrorists threats, hazardous material incidents, and more."

And I would like to point out the Emergency Manager continued to say toward the end of this crazy news conference after saying the sirens were only used for tsunamis that it wouldn't have mattered if they sounded the sirens because people wouldn't be able to hear the sirens with their air conditioners on or their TVs on because of the high winds. So, if he believes people will not hear the sirens at all during a fire and high winds, then how would the people hear the sirens in a tsunami emergency evacuation? Unbelievable response. Hawaii should have made some type of LOUD ANNOUNCEMENTS that interrupts their tvs or blasts their cell phones or some kind of loud communication system that alerts the neighborhoods to immediately evacuate. (emphasis mine)
KHON2 News published August 17, 2023: Fire timeline and warnings: Forecast through engulfment. A timeline of eyewitness accounts and official alerts show just how chaotic things got on Maui, on what was predicted to be a red flag fire-risk day Tuesday, Aug. 8.
Several roads were blocked by Maui police. However, when the police chief was questioned last night about the road closures, he said only one was closed. (emphasis mine)

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