Hawaiians have been subjected to a horrific ordeal in recent weeks that saw Maui turned into a crematorium and hundreds of lives lost. It seems that a bad government has maximized their suffering.
Progressive politics reportedly helped set Maui to burn And delayed the delivery of urgently needed water. Herman Andaya, the now-resigning administrator of the Maui Emergency Management Agency, was suspicious of how the public would react if given a proper warning, didn’t choose to sound the alarm when wildfires began to ravage Lahaina. While other officials had been warned Years before the historic city faced major wildfire risks, they continued to work with preventative measures, resulting in part in a “lack of early evacuations and inexperienced escape plans.” according to to the New York Times.
It is also now clear that those who survived the fires were often residents who ignored orders from local and state authorities.
Misplaced trust in those authorities reportedly virtually guaranteed the loss of one mother.
Luz Vargas had a cleaning service in Lahaina and was at work the day her city was in ashes. Her adopted son, Keyiro Fuentes, who would have turned fifteen on Sunday, was home five miles away enjoying the last day of his summer vacation.
CBS news reported that when Vargas and her husband, Andres, learned of the threat of the fires, they jumped in the car and desperately tried to race home to their son.
“I was told, ‘Don’t go, don’t go,'” Vargas told CBS News. “But I replied, ‘My son.'”
They encountered stalled traffic and in a race against time, abandoned their vehicle and continued on foot. However, they encountered another obstacle: a police barricade.
NPR reported that the police stopped people from going to the firestorm.
“I told them that my son is still in our house. I said he was in this house on this street,” Vargas recalled, noting that a language barrier further frustrated her efforts.
“Then I got down on my knees and threw up my hands,” Vargas said. “And then I disobeyed.”
Vargas slipped past the officers in melting slippers and was reportedly taken to the fiery front by a man on a motorcycle. When she tried to enter the fire zone, the first responders came Reportedly assured her that the area had been cleared, that no one was left behind, and that she should “trust” that her son had escaped.
Understanding that their son and others in the area had been evacuated, Vargas and her husband waited for the boy to show up at Honokowai Beach, routinely reported to authorities and attempted to call around.
Unable to find or greet Fuentes, Vargas went home two days later, only to find that the area had not been cleared and at least one person was left behind.
The mother found her son dead in his bedroom, still clutching his dog.
“He was not as I expected, in the ashes. God kept him up like that. So we knew it was him,” said Vargas, praying over Fuentes’ body, “Please God, hold him for me.”
Andres and Vargas’ son, Josue, reportedly wrapped the boy’s charred body in a tarp and carried it half a mile to a police station.
Josue, the victim’s brother, told CBS News, “He was too young. If we still had time, I know he would have been a very, very, very good man.
The associated press indicated that barricades erected by authorities not only slowed Vargas’ rescue efforts in the city, but also prevented some Maui residents from escaping the blazes.
West Maui residents trying to flee the fires tried to leave the only paved road outside of town, but authorities reportedly set up a barricade blocking access to Highway 30. As a result, countless cars were sent back into the flames, resulting in a number of people dying in their vehicles.
Those who ignored the barricade survived, including one family who ignored the barricade and drove around it. After ignoring instructions from authorities, the family arrived safely in a nearby town 48 minutes later, the Associated Press reported.
One man who also had no time for these restrictions drove his four-wheel drive vehicle down a dirt road to safety, while another drove uphill to safety – exactly where Herman Andaya feared residents would go if he heard the warning sirens. would sound.
While the fire department reportedly temporarily closed the Lahaina Bypass road due to the fire, closing off the only route south from Lahaina, Maui Police Chief John Pelletier later claimed that officers had never stopped people from leaving the city, but rather trying to prevent people from leaving the city. prevent them from driving over downed power lines.
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