At least 36 people have been killed on Maui, thousands displaced, towns nearly destroyed, and residents even forced to jump into the sea to escape the blaze.
Hawaii’s paradise has turned into hell, with wildfires and hurricane winds making it worse. At least 36 dead on Mauiresulting in thousands of evacuees, the town was nearly destroyed, and residents were even forced to jump into the sea to escape the blaze.
The fires began early Tuesday morning on Maui, burning more than 800 hectares of land, but are gaining momentum. 35,000 are at risk of extinctiontheir homes and belongings.
Fire hits the town of LahainaAt least 36 people were killed, and hundreds of local families were evacuated, according to local officials. The blaze has since spread to Hawaii Island, but no casualties have been reported so far.
The fire was initially extinguished, but was caused by the dry conditions of a hot summer and strong winds from Hurricane Dora. (Up to 130km/h) is located south of the US archipelago, but no landfall is expected.
President Joe Biden fears drama in tourist paradise in the middle of the Pacific Declared Hawaii a “disaster” area and ordered federal aid to be sent to the scene to assist local forces. It also announced a fund to provide temporary housing, damage repair and other programs for disaster victims to facilitate the recovery of affected individuals and businesses.
Images circulating on social networks showed fires devastating the historic town of Lahaina, with thick plumes of smoke blackening the sky and several ships at anchor ablaze.
local residents they jumped into the water ‘to avoid the fire’U.S. Army Major General Kenneth Hara told Hawaii News Now. At least 14 people were rescued from the sea by the Coast Guard.
The gas tank had exploded. Smoke was blowing sideways. “It was total hell. Armageddon,” wedding photographer Tad Craig, who witnessed the Lahaina wildfires, told The New York Times.
Residents said the blaze spread at lightning speed. Around 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Michele Nambas Stefl looked out of the window of her Lahaina home and saw flames erupting on a hill about 500 yards away, but firefighters quickly cleared the fire. I thought it would turn it off.
But within seconds, the fire, fanned by strong winds, devoured the hill and blazed just 30 feet from her home, Steffle said. “I turned around and it was right there. That’s how fast it was,” Stefl said. “It was like a freight train coming down the mountain.”
He and his wife ran to their car to pick up two dogs and two cats they had on the way. “We literally ran downstairs, caught cats and dogs, We made our way through black smoke, fire and heatIt’s just flying,” Stef said.
“It was horrible,” Lahaina resident Claire Ken told CNN. “I’m sure some people didn’t get away,” he added.
On Wednesday, military helicopters assisting firefighters in Maui County used 570,000 liters of water to fight the fire. Hawaii Lieutenant Governor Sylvia Luke said the island’s hospital network was “saturated” with burns and smoke inhalers. He described the situation as “dramatic”.
Thousands of residents who fled the blaze spent the night in makeshift gymnasiums, while others tried to sleep in their cars away from the blaze.
Maui is one of the tourist attractions in the United States. High-income tourists can also go there and meet celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Jeff Bezos. But there are also young adventurers and surfers looking for good waves.
But now, officials are urging all visitors to leave the island “as soon as possible,” and have arranged buses to take tourists to Kahului Airport, where many flights have been canceled or rescheduled and congested. People spent the night there sleeping on the floor.
Over the past few weeks, millions of people around the world have experienced extreme weather, which scientists say has been made worse by climate change.