Lack of warnings added to confusion as residents fled wildfires on Maui

WAILUKU, Hawaii — In the hours before a wildfire engulfed the town of Lahaina, Maui County officials failed to activate sirens that would have warned the entire population of the approaching flames and instead relied on a series of sometimes confusing social media posts that reached a much smaller audience.

Power and cellular outages for residents further stymied communication efforts. Radio reports were scarce, some survivors reported, even as the blaze began to consume the town. Roadblocks then forced fleeing drivers onto one narrow downtown street, creating a bottleneck that was quickly sur...

 

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