1. On Tuesday, the National Weather Service alerted Hawai’i residents of a red flag situation — where dry conditions mixed with strong winds from Hurricane Dora, a category 4 storm off the southern coast, and the local environment became susceptible to fire risk.
While well to the south of the Hawaiian Islands, Hurricane Dora is creating strong winds across the Islands which are creating dangerous fire conditions. https://t.co/12ut6VYhbx
— National Weather Service (@NWS) August 9, 2023
2.Now, fast-moving fires are spreading throughout communities, including the island of Maui and its historic town of Lahaina, which was once home to King Kamehameha III, who united Hawai’i under a single kingdom, AP News reports. Today, the gravesites of kings and queens lie at Wainee Church in Lahaina.
3. Now, much of the town has been scorched by ongoing fires.
4.On Wednesday night, it was reported that 36 people had been killed.
5.According to CBS News, officials say this number is expected to rise as search and rescue efforts are underway.
6. Videos taken by those on the ground show homes and businesses on fire.
7. Both local residents and tourists have been trapped by the conditions, the Washington Post reported.
🚨🚨🚨Turn up the sound & listen to the terror of these poor folks fleeing the Maui wildfires.Don’t turn a blind eye.These are REAL people dying in the climate crisis.“I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is.”-Greta Thunbergpic.twitter.com/Jm0cweooMK
— Nathan Mackenzie Brown 🔬🌎 (@NathanMackBrown) August 9, 2023
9. According to the US Coast Guard, 14 people were forced to flee into the ocean as fires pressed them out of town, and they were successfully rescued.
10. Helicopters have been deployed to help search affected areas and try to contain the fires.
Always Ready, Always There.Two Hawaii Army National Guard CH-47 Chinook helicopters dropped more than 100,000 gallons of water on wildfires on the island of Maui yesterday. Today, more than 130 Hawaii National Guardsmen continue to support wildfire response missions. pic.twitter.com/drl8cFIVD3
— National Guard (@USNationalGuard) August 10, 2023
11. Aerial footage shows thick smoke clouding the region.
12.Towns appear to be shells of their former communities.
13.In a statement, Hawai’i Gov. Josh Green said, “Much of Lahaina and Maui has been destroyed, and hundreds of local families have been displaced.”
14.Satellite images from June 25, 2023 show what Lahaina looked like before the fires…
15.…and after. This image was captured yesterday.
16. Many online are also mourning in the wake of destruction by sharing before and after images of the town.
17. And others balk at what has been left behind.
18. A disaster declaration has been approved by Joe Biden, which in turn provides federal funding to Hawai’i for recovery. In a statement from the White House, it says this funding can go toward “grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.”
Hawaii, right now: Winds are destroying power poles and transformers, causing more fires, communication outages, and wind gusts of more than 50 mph are fanning flames across Hawaii. Forest fires on the Hawaiian island of Maui have already claimed 36 lives. The fire has already… pic.twitter.com/KsQsJX8r8C
— Peacemaker (@jardacarda72) August 10, 2023