By Zeke Kalua
With the impotence of the Firefighters, the flames are rapidly engulfing the historic town of Lahaina. It would be the worst natural disaster in Hawaii since Hurricane Iniki in 1992.
The inhabitants of the Hawaiian town of Lahaina, on the island of Maui (USA), described apocalyptic scenes generated by the strong fire that broke out on Tuesday, when the rapid flames forced people to jump into the ocean to escape the fire, local media reported on August 9. As a result of Hurricane Dora’s winds, the wildfire has already destroyed much of the community’s historic area.
Residents report that Firefighters have not been very successful in containing the bursts of fire throughout the day, and dozens of houses and businesses have been destroyed. Witnesses say this fire is the worst natural disaster to hit the state of Hawaii since Hurricane Iniki hit the island of Kauai in 1992, killing six and causing billions of dollars in damage.
To date, it is unknown how widespread the fire crisis, which includes other wildfires, has affected the National Guard. Acting Governor Sylvia Luke confirmed the National Guard has been activated to assist. It is estimated that thousands of people have been evacuated. Many do not believe they will be able to return to their homes. First aid teams are assisting with fallen trees and damaged structures. Thousands of people remain without power on the island of Maui.
At Front Street Beach and Lahaina Harbor, the Coast Guard has deployed a helicopter and a boat to locate and rescue people in the water. Although rescue operations are ongoing, Maui County officials did not know how many people jumped into the water off Lahaina to avoid the smoke and flames.
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