Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono addresses failed communication leading up to deadly fires


Attorney General Anne Lopez of Hawaii announced she would be launching a review of “critical decision-making and standing policies leading up to, during, and after the wildfires on Maui,” in the wake of the devastating fires that have so far left at least 93 dead.

Even if the sirens had gone off, those in the path of the flames may not have had enough information to make it to safety, Rep. Jill Tokuda (D-Hawaii) said Sunday.

“With those warning signs, it tells all of use to turn on the television, or look at our phones or turn on the radio. The reality is how fast this burn was … if you turned on your phone, you turned on a radio if you even could — things were out at that particular point — you would not know what the crisis was,” Tokuda said during an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

“You might think it was a tsunami, you would run toward land, which in this case would be toward fire.”

The immediate focus, Hirono emphasized Sunday, should be on rescue and recovery.

“We’re going to need to provide a lot of support. That is why I’m asking for and I expect to receive bipartisan support for additional funds that will enable us to recover,” Hirono said.

On Thursday, President Joe Biden approved a disaster declaration for the state, making additional federal funding available to those impacted by the disaster.

“President Biden called me directly to pledge his support because we know that recovery will be long and the resources will be necessary. I have also heard from my senate colleagues, Chuck Schumer and others, pledging their support,” Hirono said. “Recovery will take a lot of resources. And the focus right now is truly on the recovery.”


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