Death toll in Hawaii fire rose to 36

Hawaii fire in the wild

The casualty count in Hawaii fire rises as fires continue to rage across Hawaii, with Maui County issuing an official statement on Wednesday evening disclosing that a minimum of 36 individuals lost their lives in the Lahaina fire. These wildfires, fanned by powerful winds from Hurricane Dora moving southward at a distance, caught Maui Island off guard. The aftermath revealed charred vehicles lining what were once bustling streets and smoldering remnants where historical structures had proudly stood. Throughout the night, uncontrolled flames raged, coercing residents, both adults, and children, into desperate plunges into the ocean to seek safety.

Initial reports from authorities indicated that 271 structures endured varying degrees of damage or were utterly destroyed in the Hawaii fire, resulting in numerous injuries. As of Wednesday, firefighting teams continued to battle multiple blazes in different parts of the island. Local officials implored tourists to refrain from visiting the affected areas. Two Lahaina residents, Kamuela Kawaakoa and Iiulia Yasso, recounted their harrowing escape as they were enveloped by smoke-filled skies on Tuesday afternoon. The couple and their 6-year-old son fled with only a change of clothes, as the surrounding shrubbery ignited.

Kawaakoa voiced his relief upon reaching an evacuation center on Wednesday, while still grappling with the uncertainty of their apartment’s fate. Amid their escape, a senior center succumbed to flames. Despite a 911 call, they remained uncertain about the center’s occupants. The cacophony of fire alarms punctuated their departure, with downed utility poles and fleeing vehicles impeding their progress.

Kawaakoa’s roots were firmly planted in the Lahaina Surf apartment building, where generations of his family had resided. Lahaina Town, a cherished tourist destination, carries a historical legacy dating back to the 1700s. Kawaakoa expressed his helplessness in the face of the devastation, lamenting the inability to save his beloved town from turning into ashes.

These Hawaii fires are the latest among a series of climate-driven calamities plaguing the world during this summer. Experts link these events to the escalating impact of climate change. As the winds slightly subsided over Maui, flights resumed, allowing pilots to survey the extent of the destruction. Aerial footage of Lahaina depicted a landscape marred by razed homes and businesses, including the iconic Front Street that once drew tourists for shopping and dining. The harbor’s boats bore scorch marks, and gray smoke cast an eerie shroud over charred tree skeletons.

Aviator Richard Olsten, who has flown over the area for over five decades, voiced his shock, describing the scene as unlike anything he had ever witnessed. In the wake of the disaster, State Department of Education Superintendent Keith Hayashi acknowledged the possible loss of a century-old elementary school in Lahaina, detailing contingency plans underway.

The Coast Guard performed rescues, saving 14 individuals who sought refuge in the water to evade the encroaching flames and smoke, including two children. The injured included three individuals with severe burns who were flown to Oahu’s Straub Medical Center. Additional patients were transported to Maui Memorial Medical Center, while a firefighter’s condition remained stable after smoke inhalation.

Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen Jr. noted that the precise locations and causes of the six reported deaths had yet to be determined. While investigations into the Hawaii fires’ origins were pending, officials pointed to the conjunction of dry conditions, low humidity, and intense winds as contributing factors. Over 2,100 individuals spent Tuesday night in evacuation centers, with another 2,000 finding shelter at Kahului Airport due to numerous flight cancellations. Plans were set in motion to accommodate thousands of displaced tourists and locals at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu.

Mauro Farinelli, a Lahaina resident, recalled the rapid escalation of winds followed by the sudden ignition of a hillside fire. The inferno blazed with astonishing speed, leaving destruction in its wake. The winds were so fierce that Farinelli’s garage door was torn off its hinges, leaving his car trapped. A friend aided in their evacuation to a shelter, leaving them uncertain about the state of their home.

President Joe Biden pledged federal assistance in response to the disaster, mobilizing the Hawaii National Guard for fire suppression and search and rescue operations. Former President Barack Obama, a native of Hawaii, expressed his distress at the distressing images emerging from the beloved island.

Among the affected properties, Lahaina’s central two blocks were particularly vital to the island’s economic vitality, according to Alan Dickar, who owns multiple properties in the area. Dickar captured footage of flames engulfing the main thoroughfare before escaping with companions and pets. Despite the personal loss, Dickar maintained a sense of resilience.

In addition to Maui, fires also ravaged Hawaii’s Big Island. Although no injuries or home destruction were reported, Mayor Mitch Roth noted the need to combat roof fires and persistent flare-ups near Mauna Kea Resorts. The National Weather Service attributed the potent winds, partially, to the passage of Hurricane Dora to the south of the island chain.

Approximately 14,500 residents on Maui found themselves without power early Wednesday. With communication lines severed in certain areas, individuals struggled to reach out to loved ones in proximity to the wildfires, resorting to social media for communication. Tiare Lawrence anxiously sought contact with her siblings, as an explosion at a nearby gas station prompted fears for their safety.

Acting Governor Sylvia Luke emphasized the perilous situation, urging travelers to steer clear of the affected areas. She issued an emergency proclamation on behalf of Governor Josh Green, who was en route back to address the crisis. Unlike the Western U.S., Hawaiian fires typically emerge in vast grasslands on the islands’ arid sides, remaining comparatively smaller. The Big Island experienced a significant blaze in 2021, resulting in evacuations and home loss. Resident Iiulia Yasso, who fled her residence with her partner Kamuela Kawaakoa, urged patience as the community recuperates. She urged visitors to refrain from immediate plans to visit, as the losses have taken a heavy toll on collective memories and homes.


what is the death toll in Huwaii fire


Which island is on fire in Hawaii?

Maui island

What started Hawaii fires?

Though the exact reason is not known, however, These Hawaii fires are the latest among a series of climate-driven calamities plaguing the world during this summer. Experts link these events to the escalating impact of climate change.

Which island is called the island of fire?


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8 points about M. S. Swaminathan 8 Calcium Rich Foods