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Lives Lost as Raging Wildfires Sweep Through Maui’s Idyllic Landscape

On Hawaii’s Maui island on Wednesday, wildfires fueled by winds from a faraway cyclone claimed the lives of at least six people. Many were forced to flee, and some individuals dove into the ocean to escape the smoke and flames.

With only one route operational, the western side of the island was practically shut off as some communities were completely destroyed, according to officials, who also reported extensive damage to Lahaina, its harbour, and the surrounding districts.

A total of 271 structures were damaged or destroyed, according to information gathered from flyovers conducted by the Maui Fire Department and the U.S. Civil Air Patrol.

Overhead footage revealed smoke pillars rising from numerous blocks in Lahaina, the busiest tourist area on Maui and home to numerous sizable hotels.

Western Maui was off-limits to everyone but emergency personnel and evacuees as firefighters battled three significant fires.

The fires, which began Tuesday night, also scorched portions of Hawaii’s Big Island. Thousands of acres, according to the state, burned.

The Hawaii Department of Transportation’s Ed Sniffen reported that at least 4,000 tourists were trying to leave western Maui. The Maui airport was completely operational, and airlines were slashing prices and providing waivers to get people off the island even though at least 16 roads were closed, according to Sniffen.

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U.S. Assistance as Maui Wildfires Ravage the Island

On Hawaii’s Maui island on Wednesday, wildfires fueled by winds from a faraway cyclone claimed the lives of at least six people.

According to a Maui County press release, several persons were compelled to leap into the Pacific Ocean to escape the smoke and fire conditions, which required the U.S. Coast Guard to rescue them.

 According to Hawaii News Now, which cited officials, at least 20 persons with major burns were transported to Oahu.

Power outages and the interruption of cell phone service made evacuation efforts more difficult because only satellite connection was possible with the west side of Maui, according to Lieutenant Governor Sylvia Luke.

Scientists have long warned that government leaders must reduce emissions to prevent a global disaster as a result of human-caused climate change, which is fueled by the usage of fossil fuels.

According to Biden, the U.S. Department of Transportation assisted with the evacuation efforts as the National Guard, U.S. Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard were deployed.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s administrator, Deanne Criswell, stated that US assistance had already been approved.

Although the National Weather Service claimed the flames in Maui were fueled by a combination of dry vegetation, strong winds, and low humidity, the cause has not yet been identified.

The gusts from Hurricane Dora, according to the authorities, fanned the flames over the state. According to the National Hurricane Center, the storm was around 860 miles (1,380 km) southwest of Honolulu as of 11 a.m. local time (2100 GMT).

Up until Thursday morning, a wind advisory was in effect from the weather service.

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Source: Reuters

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