In news resembling those from the BC Wildfires, it was sadly confirmed that at least 36 are now dead following the wildfires of apocalyptic proportions. Pictures are coming in from all kinds of sources that remind us of the intensity of the emergency now in Maui.
Wildfires Tore Through The Island of Maui
At least 36 individuals have perished following wildfires that were intensified by winds from a remote hurricane. These fires laid waste to a considerable portion of the resort city of Lahaina, situated on Maui island in Hawaii, as stated by Maui County in an announcement released on the evening of Wednesday.
Reuters reported that certain individuals sought refuge in the ocean as a means to evade the enveloping smoke and fire.
Mason Jarvi, a resident of Lahaina, conveyed, “We just had the worst disaster I’ve ever seen. All of Lahaina is burnt to a crisp. It’s like an apocalypse.” Jarvi, who managed to escape the city, shared photographs with Reuters, showcasing the desolation adorned in ash that lined the Lahaina waterfront. He exhibited blisters on his thigh, a consequence of navigating through flames on his electric bike in an attempt to rescue his dog, all while wearing shorts.
NBCNews reports that authorities in Hawaii issued a caution that the current death toll of 36 individuals could potentially increase, as the fires continue to burn and search teams extend their efforts to explore charred regions. Teams dedicated to search and rescue operations are dispersing across the devastated areas, aiming to locate any survivors. Adam Weintraub, the communications director for the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, stated on Thursday’s episode of ABC’s “Good Morning America” that these significant and rapidly advancing fires prompted concerns of possible additional casualties. He acknowledged, “These were large and fast-moving fires, and it’s only recently that we’ve started to get our arms around them and contain them. So, we’re hoping for the best, but we’re prepared for the worst”
Hawaii Fires Evacuations
Over 11,000 travelers were successfully evacuated from Maui, as confirmed by Ed Sniffen from the Hawaii Department of Transportation on Wednesday evening. Despite the closure of at least 16 roads, the Maui airport continued to operate without disruptions. Earlier in the day, Sniffen had indicated that airlines were reducing fares and providing waivers to facilitate the departure of individuals from the island.
It was also announced that the extensive bus evacuation aimed at relocating residents and visitors from West Maui is set to recommence at 8:30 am on Thursday, August 10th. Visitors will be transported straight to the Kahului Airport, while residents will be taken to a shelter situated in Central Maui. A total of three Roberts Hawaii Motor coaches, each capable of accommodating 49 passengers, will be made available. Additional buses from collaborating agencies will be deployed as per demand.
In response to the recent tragedies, Mayor Richard Bissen spoke to ABC about the latest on fires.