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Maui Wildfires Obliterate Coastal City

Wildfires broke out in Lahaina, Maui. The fires burned from August 8 to August 12, 2023. Hawaiian Electric claimed responsibility for this fire. The effects of this disaster will take years to recover from. 

Winds up to 60 miles per hour knocked at least 30 power poles down. The power poles mixed with the flash flood caused these fires.

Flames tore through this town extremely fast. The fire swallowed houses in a matter of seconds. Many residents ran to their cars in an attempt to flee, although very few escaped. Highway 30, the only paved road, burst into flames while people were trying to get to the next town. Families died in their cars, while others died while running for safety.

“People lost homes and livelihood, it’s gonna take years to restore. Where do people go? It is an awful situation”. This terrible catastrophe not only affected Maui, but it impacted the rest of the world,” said Sultana teacher Joe Rodriguez.

Hawaiian Electric provides service for 95% of the people in the state. They had no procedure in place for turning off the grid. According to Associated Press News “Maui County Officials declined to use an extensive network of emergency sirens”. This shows that Hawaiian Electric was not the only company that played a role in this tragedy, and it could have been preventable.

Maria Natalie Belen Perez, a student attending Sultana High School expressed, “I feel the fires could have been avoided if there were a lot more limitations on travel.”

As of August 29, 115 people are dead, with 388 still missing. Only 46 people have been identified out of the 115; the FBI will be matching DNA samples to help identify the bodies.

TOPSHOT – Davilynn Severson and Hano Ganer look for belongings through the ashes of their family’s home in the aftermath of a wildfire in Lahaina, western Maui, Hawaii on August 11, 2023. A wildfire that left Lahaina in charred ruins has killed at least 67 people, authorities said on August 11, making it one of the deadliest disasters in the US state’s history. Brushfires on Maui, fueled by high winds from Hurricane Dora passing to the south of Hawaii, broke out August 8 and rapidly engulfed Lahaina. (Photo by Patrick T. Fallon / AFP) (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images) (AFP via Getty Images)


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