Hawaii’s governor is considering banning the sale of wildfire-damaged property and land on Maui in a bid to prevent developers from exploiting the tragedy.
Josh Green said he asked his attorney general to consider a sales moratorium. The plan was announced following allegations that the victims whose homes were destroyed were approached by promoters keen to cash in on the tragedy, known so far to have killed 106 people.
“I have actually contacted our Attorney General to explore options to place a moratorium on any sale of damaged or destroyed properties,” he said.
“Also, I would like to warn people that it will be a long time before any growth or housing can be built and so you will be pretty misinformed if you try to steal land from our people and then build here. “
The historic town of Lahaina was destroyed by last week’s fire, with 1,300 people still missing and about 25% of the damaged area searched for survivors. About 2,200 buildings in Lahaina were destroyed.
Josh Green said he asked his attorney general to consider a moratorium on sales following claims that victims whose homes had been destroyed had been approached by predatory developers.
Hawaii Governor Josh Green, left, and Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen, Jr. speak during a tour of wildfire damage Saturday, Aug. 12, 2023, in Lahaina, Hawaii
One woman claimed that “investors and estate agents (call) families who have lost their homes, offering to buy their land”.
‘How dare you do this to our community right now. If you are a victim and they call you, please get their business name so we can blast them,” she added.
The White House announced Wednesday that Joe and Jill Biden will travel to Hawaii on Monday to meet with first responders and officials as the administration pushes back on criticism of the president’s handling of the deadly fire.
“The President and First Lady will travel to Maui on Monday, August 21 to meet with first responders, survivors, and federal, state, and local officials following the island’s deadly wildfires,” it said. the White House.
Biden said Tuesday he wanted to visit the state at a time when he would not disrupt rescue efforts. He was criticized earlier this week for his refusal to comment on the fires that have devastated the island and claimed more than 100 lives.
And, during his speech in Milwaukee, the president seemed to forget Maui’s name, referring to the island as “the one you see on TV all the time.”
President Joe Biden will travel to Hawaii on Monday with First Lady Jill Biden
But Biden told the crowd that he and the first lady wanted to visit the destruction.
“My wife Jill and I will be traveling as soon as possible,” Biden told the crowd.
Meanwhile, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Wednesday pushed back on criticism of Biden’s handling of the Maui wildfires, insisting that “we take this incredibly seriously.”
“You will continue to hear from the president. He can’t wait to get to Maui, to see for himself,’ she told CNN’s This Morning.
“The president mentioned, you’ve heard him say publicly that he and the first lady are going to Hawaii, when we know they’re not disruptive,” she noted.
Tuesday’s comments were Biden’s first major remarks on Hawaii’s deadliest natural disaster and the worst US wildfire in 105 years.
He hit back at criticism that his administration hasn’t done enough to help Maui, saying, “Army helicopters have been helping with fire suppression efforts on the Big Island because there are still fires on the island. big island – not the one who, not the one where you see on TV all the time.
The president has been accused of being insensitive over the weekend. He was in Rehoboth Beach with the First Lady and on his way to the beach with friends when asked about the rising death toll in Hawaii.
“No comment,” he replied.
But Jean-Pierre argued that Biden faced many natural disasters during his presidency and showed up for people in crisis.
“Unfortunately, this president has had to deal with many disasters over the past two years. He showed up and he was there,’ she told CNN. “So we’re going to be here for the people of Maui until they need us through this time.”
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre pushed back on criticism of Biden’s handling of the Maui wildfires, insisting ‘we take this incredibly seriously’
A cadaver dog is seen leading search and rescue personnel through a parking lot that was destroyed in the Lahaina Fire, which killed more than 100 people
Recovery teams are assembled as efforts are made to find the 1,300 people still missing after last week’s Lahaina Fire swept through the city. The death toll rises to more than 100
On Friday, President Biden flies to chic Lake Tahoe for yet another summer vacation. He will remain there until the following Thursday, as directed by the White House.
He will probably interrupt this trip to visit Hawaii.
The fire that swept through Lahaina nearly a week ago destroyed nearly every building in the town of 13,000, leaving a mountain of debris in the coastal town. That fire was 85% contained, according to the county. Another blaze known as the Upcountry Fire was 60% contained, officials told The Associated Press.
Damage was estimated at $5.6 billion.
Exclusive photos from DailyMail.com show how rescue efforts are still underway even as hopes fade that someone will be found alive in the demolished town.
The heartbreaking images also show how little is left in historic Maui, which until a week ago was home to more than 12,000 people.
Thousands of people are staying in shelters, in hotel rooms and Airbnb units, or with friends.
About 2,000 homes and businesses still have no power, and the fire has contaminated much of the water supply.