Lahaina, HI

News Today Maui, Hawaii and Hurricane Dora

Brooklyn Muse
Water RescuesPhoto by© Brooklyn Muse

The following news story is presently ongoing. Category 4 Hurricane Dora -approximately 740 miles southwest of Honolulu is devastating Hawaii’s Big Island and Maui. It has been reported by CNN News to be “apocalyptic” in both the Lahaina and Upcountry areas of Maui. In a news release by Maui County officials - “Maui Fire officials warn that erratic wind, challenging terrain, steep slopes, and dropping humidity, the direction and the location of the fire conditions make it difficult to predict path and speed of a wildfire”. Maui County Fire Assistant Chief Jeff Giesea warned, “The fire can be a mile or more from your house, but in a minute or two, it can be at your house.” “Burning airborne materials can light fires a great distance away from the main body of fire.”
Historic Lahaina is reported to be destroyed by flames. Alan Dickar, a business owner told CNN news crews, “Buildings on both sides were engulfed. There were no fire trucks at that point; I think the fire department was overwhelmed.” “That is the most important business street on Maui.”
People have actually jumped into the ocean to escape the raging wildfires. The 911 dispatch has been compromised and the area hospitals are flooded with people suffering from burns and smoke inhalation. Hawaii’s Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke told CNN, “911 is down. Cell service is down. The phone service is down. That's been part of the problem. Maui County has not been able to communicate with residents on the west side, the Lahaina side.” “When we deal with hurricanes and disasters following hurricanes, we're usually dealing with heavy rain, we’re dealing with flooding,” Luke reported to CNN. “The fact that we have wildfires in multiple areas as a result of indirectly from a hurricane is unprecedented; it's something that Hawaii residents and the state have not experienced.” “We are already in communication with other hospital systems about relieving the burden — the reality is that we need to fly people out of Maui to give them burn support because Maui Hospital cannot do extensive burn treatment,” Luke said. “In addition to dealing with disaster, we're dealing with major transportation issues as well.” “What we are trying to do is deploy individuals to go into areas with satellite phone service. We have only been in contact with perhaps one hotel because the one hotel, the people in charge of that hotel have satellite phones,” Luke said. “That's the only way you can make the connection. It's impeding communication. It’s impeding efforts to evacuate residents and we are very concerned about that.”
Needless to say, multiple schools in the surrounding areas have been closed. The steep terrain and mountainous regions of the area have also provided great difficulty in the management of wildfires and the evacuation of residents.
This news story is ongoing and fluid.

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