Maui Island burnt in US deadliest wildfire in over 100 years, more deaths predicted

Xinhua | Updated: 2023-08-13 18:17
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Photo released by County of Maui on Aug 10, 2023 shows houses destroyed in a devastating wildfire on Maui Island, Hawaii, the United States. [Photo/County of Maui/Xinhua]


US President Joe Biden on Thursday approved a major disaster declaration for Hawaii in the wake of the devastating wildfires.

Assistance from the federal included grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster, according to a press release from the White House.

But local residents decided to help each other just when the horrible and sad night passed. Thursday, David and Milo gathered supplies and cans of gasoline and delivered them to a friend's sailboat to be sailed over to the western side of the island, where many people remained stranded without resources.

This kind of efficient operation was not organized by the National Guard, nor the Federal Emergency Management Agency, nor state or local government, the Washington Post reported Saturday, "this was scores of residents, led mostly by Native Hawaiians."

Kandi Miranda is the founder of the Hawaiian Donut Franchise USA. She told Xinhua Friday in a telephone interview that profits from her Hawaiian Donut Shops elsewhere on Maui and Oahu islands would be donated to relief efforts in Lahaina Town.

As a licensed psychologist, Miranda also volunteered her professional services to the many shell-shocked survivors.

"There's nothing left, not even a stick of wood," said Chantal Weaver, daughter of the former owner of the Pioneer Inn Hotel, a Lahaina landmark which was burned to the ground by the wildfire.

"Everything has been burnt to the ground. If it weren't for GPS no one would have any idea where the hotel stood because there is no reference point whatsoever," Weaver said.

"The people of Lahaina need our kokua (help) to get through this catastrophe ... I encourage everyone to give as much as they can," she added.

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