Update August 9 at 5:20 p.m. EST:
Devastating wildfires that have been fueled by hurricane winds have killed several on the Hawaiian island of Maui. Emergency responders are overwhelmed by the devastation. Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen confirmed during a press conference today that the fires have killed at least 6 people in Maui.
Should You Flip Out for This Samsung Phone? | Gizmodo Review
“We are still in a search and rescue mode, so I don’t know what will happen to that number,” Bissen said during the press conference.
Original article appears below.
Wildfires are raging throughout the Hawaiian island of Maui, forcing evacuations, emergency service outages, power outages, and downed trees. The flames have spread quickly, and Maui residents have had to throw themselves into the ocean to escape the fires, CNN reported.
Almost 20% of Maui is in the dark. More than 14,000 customers of the islands 72,500 customers are currently without power, according to data from Poweroutage.us. The flames have also downed cell phone towers, which has shut down 911 service on the west side of the island. Landlines are only working within local areas, a spokesperson with the Maui Emergency Management Agency told CNN.
“For emergencies call the Lahaina Police Department directly at (808) 661-4441,” the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency announced a few hours ago.
Hospitals and other emergency providers are currently overwhelmed with the number of people coming in with burns and health complications from smoke inhalation, according to a CNN alert.
“We are already in communication with other hospital systems about relieving the burden—the reality is that we need to fly people out of Maui to give them burn support because Maui hospital cannot do extensive burn treatment,” Hawaii’s acting Governor Sylvia Luke said. “We’re dealing with major transportation issues.”
Strong winds from nearby hurricane Dora have fueled the flames that have overtaken the island, especially in the Lahaina area. Videos uploaded to Twitter show how flames and smoke have engulfed streets in West Maui.
Another video shows what Front Street, a popular shopping area in Lahaina, looks like from afar.
The Maui Emergency Management Agency announced shelters for residents who have been displaced by the fires, according to a tweet from yesterday. Residents were advised to bring food and blankets and other necessities to the shelters.
Want more climate and environment stories? Check out Earther’s guides to decarbonizing your home, divesting from fossil fuels, packing a disaster go bag, and overcoming climate dread. And don’t miss our coverage of the latest IPCC climate report, the future of carbon dioxide removal, and the un-greenwashed facts on bioplastics and plastic recycling.