Herman Andaya, the Administrator of the Maui Emergency Management Agency, has immediately resigned, according to an announcement from Mayor Richard Bissen's office.
Andaya's resignation is based on health reasons, and Mayor Bissen has approved the resignation, as stated in the official county announcement.
On Wednesday, Andaya faced substantial criticism and garnered global media attention after he expressed no regrets for the decision to not activate warning sirens as the wildfire approached Lahaina, which later led to the destruction of the historic town.
During a press conference in Wailuku, Andaya responded to questions from reporters, explaining that he stands by the choice not to activate the sirens.
He justified this by pointing out that in Hawaii, sirens are mainly intended for tsunamis, not for wildfires. He also mentioned that the public is accustomed to seeking higher ground during siren alerts, and he worried that people would go "mountainside" if they heard the sirens.
Governor Green and Mayor Richard Bissen had both originally supported Andaya in response to allegations that he had failed at his job. Green acknowledged that his own response upon hearing the sirens would involve anticipating a tsunami.
"Given the gravity of the crisis we are facing, my team and I will be placing someone in this key position as quickly as possible and I look forward to making that announcement soon," Bissen said.
110 have been killed in the wildfires, however the number of fatalities is expected to rise further in the upcoming weeks.
Growing worry revolves around the possibility that a significant portion of the deceased comprises children who were at home due to school closures while their parents were at work.
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