There is another question which people are asking and which has raised eyebrows in this devastating tragedy. So far more than 100 people died and many more are still missing. Search among the debris is still ongoing.
The question is why wasn’t the alarm raised by activating warning sirens?
This decision was defended by the administrator of Maui County’s Emergency Management Agency. In a news conference, the head of the agency, Herman Andaya, told reporters that since sirens are primarily used for tsunamis, they were afraid that if they activated the sirens, people would have gone in panick mode and they would have run out and gone into the fire.
However, according to the Hawaii Emergency Management website, the sirens of121 decibels are called “all-hazard” which means that they are the type of sirens that can be used for a variety of both natural and human-caused events and this includes wildfires.
But some onlookers and residents are calling this defense absurd. They told HNN that “the sirens would have alerted them that something was wrong and they would have looked outside or at least, prepared to evacuate.”
“Melinda Young, a Maui resident, initially feared her friend Mona Cole had fallen asleep after work and wasn’t aware of the fire heading toward her Lahaina home. Sirens could have woken people up.”
While the fires engulfed the town, the few lucky ones who managed to evacuate and jump into the sea, managed to save themselves.
Yet, other innocent Hawaiians died.
Others had their bodies burnt to the extent of being unrecognisable, with dogs and handlers having to search through the debris to identify their human remains so that the same authorities which decided not to activate the sirens, could match them with names and notify families.