Labeling it as the “most extensive natural catastrophe” in Hawaii’s chronicles, Governor Josh Green remarked on Thursday about the raging wildfires on Maui, which have claimed the lives of at least 53 individuals.
The blaze swiftly transformed the once-thriving resort town of Lahaina into a scene of desolation.
According to Hawaiian authorities, the aftermath of this catastrophe will necessitate several years and billions of dollars to reinstate what was lost.
Approximately 1,000 structures lay in ruins or suffered significant damage, Green conveyed during a press briefing.
“One elderly gentleman we conversed with had never borne witness to such a calamity in his entire lifetime. A wildfire that consumed the entire city—his neighbors now homeless, although his own abode remained unscathed. Yet, tears welled up in his eyes. This is a man known for his resolute demeanor,” Green shared, underscoring the emotional toll.
These wildfires caught Maui Island off guard as a trifecta of massive fires ignited on Tuesday, August 8, severing access to the island’s western flank.
Ongoing search and rescue operations persist, as numerous individuals have sought refuge in emergency shelters or opted to vacate the island.