Hawaii asks tourists to avoid traveling to Maui; hotels will house evacuees and first responders
Hawaii.- Hawaii officials have advised tourists to avoid traveling to Maui due to a devastating wildfire that has caused significant destruction and loss of life. The historic town of Lahaina has been severely affected, resulting in the deaths of over 90 people. About 46,000 residents and tourists have already left the area.
The Hawaii Tourism Authority has called for collective efforts from federal, state, and county governments, as well as the tourism industry, to focus on the recovery of evacuated residents. Governor Josh Green announced that 500 hotel rooms will be provided for displaced residents, while another 500 rooms will be reserved for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) workers. The state is also working with Airbnb to offer rental homes for those who lost their residences.
Search and recovery efforts are still ongoing, as the wildfire has become the deadliest in the United States in over a century. Teams are marking house ruins with identifiers to indicate search status and human remains findings. The search area remains vast, covering a substantial portion of the affected region.
Maui Police Chief John Pelletier anticipates a rise in the death toll as search efforts continue. Families like that of Lylas Kanemoto are grappling with loss and uncertainty. The fire has devastated thousands of buildings, predominantly residential, causing immense damages estimated to be nearly 6 billion dollars.
This disaster surpasses even the 1960 tsunami and is the deadliest Hawaii has experienced in decades. Investigations into the cause of the fires are ongoing, while authorities work to address the widespread devastation and its aftermath.