The tragic disaster that we just witnessed in Hawaii should break all of our hearts.
The death count just keeps going up, and it is being reported that these were the deadliest fires in the United States in more than 100 years.
In addition, Hawaii Governor Josh Green is telling us that this was actually “the largest natural disaster” that his state has ever experienced. More than 2,700 structures have been burned down in Lahaina alone, and it is being estimated that the value of the property that has been destroyed is over 5 billion dollars.
But, there are some stories that are not making the evening news.
As Insider.com reports, Maui residents are becoming increasingly desperate for local leadership to take control of the emergency response to the catastrophic fires that leveled parts of the Hawaiian island and left at least 93 dead.
While rescue crews made their way across the island with water, food, and first aid, locals told Insider supply drops were being rerouted and anguished residents were taking matters into their own hands.
"There's some police presence. There's some small military presence, but at night, people are being robbed at gunpoint," Matt Robb, a co-owner of a Lāhainā bar called The Dirty Monkey, told Insider.
"People are raped and pillaged. I mean, they're going through houses - and then by day, it's hunky-dory. So where is the support? I don't think our government and our leaders, at this point, know how to handle this or what to do."
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported a riot nearly broke out between police and about 100 residents after officers closed off access to a highway leading to Lāhainā, one of the hardest-hit areas on the island, preventing people from returning home to gather items that could be salvaged.
Members of the staff of The Dirty Monkey said they had been coordinating with local authorities and community members, organizing and trying to direct supply drops and shipments of essential medications such as insulin to families in need.
Kami Irwin, a Maui resident helping to coordinate relief efforts at the Maui Brewing Co. location in Kihei, told Insider that locals were working around the clock, forgoing sleep and creating neighborhood patrols to help keep each other safe and find essentials such as clean drinking water and medications.
Residents told Insider they believed the mayor, who has offered limited public comments regarding the tragedy, had floundered in response to the emergency.
"I think it's the mayor's fault," Aivazian said.
"If he would've asked, they had Marines, Coast Guards sitting there waiting, ready to go, and he didn't send them over. Why wouldn't the feds send them over? The mayor didn't ask and the governor didn't push. I mean, what the hell are they doing over there? They're just hanging out at the beach."
How/why is this happening?!
We have never seen anything quite like this before, and, as Michael Snyder remarks, the following are 8 questions that we should all be asking about the fires in Hawaii right now…
#1 How did the fires start? Governor Green is convinced that they were caused by a confluence of factors. Do you buy his explanation?…
Echoing wildfire experts, Gov. Green said Friday that he believes a confluence of weather conditions contributed to the ignition and spread of the blazes.
“It is a product, in my estimation, of certainly global warming combined with drought, combined with a super storm, where we had a hurricane offshore several hundred miles, still generating large winds,” Green told CNN.
#2 How did the fires spread so rapidly? According to multiple news reports, people were literally jumping into the ocean to escape because the fires were moving so rapidly…
With fires raging on Maui, two men felt there was nowhere to escape the flames – except for the ocean.
The two men live in Lahaina, a historic part of Maui loved by tourists, which appears to be heavily damaged by this week’s raging fire. They described a terrifying scene as they evacuated from Prison Street, right in the heart of Lahaina.
“I saw a couple people just running, I heard screams out of hell … explosions. It felt like we were in hell, it really was. It was just indescribable,” one of the men told Nexstar’s KHON.
#3 How did a fire that was supposedly “out” end up causing the most damage of all? According to Governor Green, the Lahaina fire was supposedly given new energy “by far-off Hurricane Dora”…
After first erupting early Tuesday, the fire was initially deemed to be out, but winds whipped up by far-off Hurricane Dora that reached up to 81 mph fanned the flames and spurred the blaze to travel about 1 mile every minute, Green said.
#4 According to U.S. Representative Jill Tokuda, the alarm system that is supposed to warn residents that a disaster is happening appears to have failed. How is that possible?…
We know everybody who’s ever lived in Hawaii knows the warning sirens. It goes off once a month at the beginning of the month at 12 noon, and it blares and if it doesn’t, it gets fixed, because that is our first line of defense. Unfortunately, in this situation, sadly, tragically in this situation, those sirens likely did not go off. The warning signals that were on cell phones, we had no cell coverage or electricity in some of these areas. And the reality is with those warning signs, it tells all of us to turn on the television or look at our phones or turn on the radio. The reality is was how fast this burn was. And you could see it in the videos that survivors were showing me. You could see it in the wreckage. If you turned on your phone, you turned on a radio, if you even could. Remember things were out at that particular point, you would not know what the crisis was.
#5 Why are emergency supplies not getting to the people that desperately need them? It is being reported that a “telecommunications blackout” has been one of the factors that has been hampering relief efforts…
But an enduring telecommunications blackout hampered government and grassroots efforts to distribute those supplies in the worst-affected neighborhoods, especially for an unknown number of survivors waiting out the aftermath in the few buildings still standing in the historic town of Lahaina and neighborhoods on the outskirts.
With their vehicles burned to a crisp, some sheltering at home have no way to drive to distribution centers miles away, or their cars have run out of gas. Others simply don’t know where to go for help. Toxic fumes and downed power lines with live wires make venturing outdoors dangerous.
#6 Why are people that have just had their homes burned down in the fires already being bombarded with calls with offers to purchase their properties?
The vultures are circling, and it appears that there are some people out there that are extremely interested in scooping up land inexpensively.
#7 Why has the FBI moved a “mobile refrigerated morgue” into Lahaina?…
A mobile refrigerated morgue has been brought to the devastated town of Lahaina as Maui officials continue their search for victims of the worst U.S. wildfire in 100 years.
The death toll on Sunday rose to 96, but Hawaii officials said it was likely to rise significantly.
John Pelletier, the Maui police chief, said only three percent of Lahaina – home to more than 9,000 people – had been searched so far.
#8 Why is Joe Biden lounging on the beach while all of this is happening?…
Outraged Americans blasting President @JoeBiden after he said ‘no comment’ when asked about the catastrophic Maui wildfire, now the deadliest US blaze in over a century. Despite the death toll climbing to about 100, Americans were outraged that Biden remained sunbathing on a beach near his Delaware home.
How can Biden be sunbathing on a beach while such tragedy is unfolding in Hawaii?
I don’t understand it.
This country has experienced so many great tragedies over the past few years, and it is inevitable that there will be many more in the years ahead.
When disaster strikes, we need a leader in the White House that knows how to act appropriately.
Those that have lost so much in these fires need our support and our prayers.
Hawaii will never be quite the same after this, and the people of the state deserve to get some answers to the very pressing questions that they are asking right now.
* * *