The death toll from the wildfires in Maui, Hawaii has risen to 93 as rescuers continue to search for more victims. The fires, which are the deadliest in the country in over 100 years, have forced evacuations in the Kaanapali area. Many survivors have reported not receiving any warning before the fires reached their homes, with some only becoming aware of the danger when they saw flames or heard explosions. The authorities have sent alerts to mobile phones, televisions, and radio stations, but power and cellular outages may have limited their reach.
The wildfires have devastated the town of Lahaina, which has been described as the most affected area. Singer Stevie Nicks, who owns a house in Maui, shared a tribute on Instagram to Lahaina, calling it “the most magical place on earth.” A newlywed couple who were married in Hawaii also shared their heartbreaking escape from the fires. They were forced to spend their wedding night in a garage after being unable to return to their hotel. They expressed their sympathy for the local residents, stating that while their experience was only for one night, the impact on the community will last a lifetime.
Drone footage has shown the scale of the destruction caused by the wildfires. Large areas of land have been charred black and brown, with burnt trees still standing amidst the smoke. The wildfires have been fueled by dry weather and strong winds. Efforts to assess the full impact of the fires are still in the early stages, with only 3% of the search area covered so far. Identifying the remains of the victims has been challenging due to the extent of the fire damage.
Governor Josh Green has described the wildfires as the worst natural disaster in Hawaii’s history. The focus now is on providing support to those who have been affected and rebuilding the affected areas. The cost of rebuilding has been estimated at $6 billion. The King and Queen of an undisclosed country have expressed their horror at the wildfires in a letter to US President Joe Biden. The authorities will continue their rescue and recovery efforts as they work to bring the situation under control and provide assistance to those affected by the devastating wildfires.