Hawaiian Town of Lahaina Destroyed

(RepublicanDaily.org) – Lahaina, a historic town in Maui, Hawaii, is no more.

Wildfires that continue to rage in the second largest island in the state have razed the once picturesque town nestled on its western coast, with much of the town’s structures reduced to ashes.

Weather conditions – such as 60 mph winds stirred by the distantly passing Hurricane Dora – exacerbated the already low humidity in the area, strengthening the blaze.

The town is relatively small, and only has a population of around 12,000. However, Lahaina is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and traces its history way back to the 1700s. Maui is the second largest island in Hawaii, while the biggest contains the mainland, which is called “Big Island”.

The wildfires are not limited to Lahaina though, and has torn though large swaths of Maui. As many as 106 people have been confirmed to have lost their lives because of the fires, with many injured or still missing at the time of this report. The number of fatalities is expected to increase when rescue and retrieval efforts expand to areas that are still unsafe to operate in. All utilities and communication infrastructure in Lahaina are down, as rescuers wait for help from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) before they are able to start search and rescue operations in damaged structures. President Joe Biden has also committed to sending help.

“Right now our focus is on finding any missing persons,” Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen told news outlets.

Besides fighting the fires, Maui is waging a battle on many other fronts. Hospitals’ resources are stretched thin with the sudden influx of patients suffering from burns or smoke inhalation. Roughly 2,100 people have been displaced by the tragedy, which has seen many shelters overrun, and authorities are trying to help as many as 4,000 tourists get home.

The tragedy is already considered the worst Hawaii has seen – the last major natural disaster with a hefty death toll was more than 60 years ago, way back in 1960. Back then, 61 people were killed when a tsunami struck the mainland. The Lahaina fire is also one of the deadliest and most damaging the U.S. has seen in recent years, the last being California’s Camp Fire in 2018. That blaze claimed 85 lives and razed the town of Paradise.

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