The Hawaiian island of Maui has been devastated by wildfires, resulting in at least 53 deaths and the destruction of the historic town of Lahaina. The fires, fueled by a dry summer and strong winds from a passing hurricane, are already the deadliest natural disaster in the state since the 1960 tsunami. As search and rescue operations continue, the death toll is expected to rise, with many residents still missing. Amidst the disaster, thousands of tourists have been evacuated, and residents share harrowing tales of narrow escapes.
- The wildfires in Maui have resulted in a death toll of at least 53, making it the deadliest U.S. wildfire since the 2018 Camp Fire in California.
- Lahaina, a historic town dating back to the 1700s, has been largely burned down, with over 1,000 structures destroyed.
- Factors such as a dry summer, winds from a passing hurricane, and potentially climate change have contributed to the intensity of the fires.
- Communications on the island have been sporadic, with many residents still searching for missing loved ones.
- President Joe Biden has declared a major disaster on Maui and promised immediate federal assistance to the affected residents.