A week after Hawaii wildfire disaster, Maui's displaced grow restless

Updated: 2023-08-16 08:09
Share - WeChat
Charred remains of a burned neighbourhood is seen in the aftermath of a wildfire, in Lahaina, western Maui, Hawaii on August 14, 2023. [Photo/Agencies]

What we know so far

-- Death toll now at 101 in the deadliest natural disaster in the state of Hawaii's history; only four of the dead have been identified so far

-- At least 2,200 buildings are destroyed, 86 percent of them residential

-- Officially, the cause of the fire remains under investigation

KAHULUI, Hawaii - A week after wildfire ravaged the resort town of Lahaina, traumatized Maui residents have grown weary from living off relief supplies while many are kept from inspecting their homes and still left awaiting news about their missing loved one.

Officials said the death toll had risen to 101 after the inferno raced from grasslands outside town into Lahaina last Tuesday.

The magnitude of the fire, which charred a 5-square-mile (13-square-km) area of town in hours, combined with the logistical challenges of recovery have taken a toll on many of Lahaina's 13,000 year-round residents, who are also facing the prospect of precious tourist dollars evaporating.

Even as donations have poured in and Hawaii and federal officials have promised vast resources to aid in the recovery, Kanamu Balinbin, a local football coach, took matters into his own hands, setting up a relief camp where people who lost their homes and belongings could find water and food.

"I was devastated. I consider myself a strong leader, but it broke me," Balinbin said about his emotions after witnessing the destruction. "This is what keeps me going, helping people. A lot of us are at that stage."

1 2 3 Next   >>|
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349