In Lahaina, Maui, the capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom in the early 19th century, 80% of the city was lost.
Cultural treasures everywhere have been reduced to charcoal, including the largest and oldest banyan tree in the United States.
On the island of Maui alone, the death toll rose to 55, with 19 more deaths, up from 36 a day earlier.
[Florian Bayol/Resident, Lahaina, Maui: “A lot of people didn’t make it out and lost their lives. I tried to evacuate as many people as I could.”]
The fire is still burning across the island.
The death toll is likely to rise as search operations continue.
Disaster officials estimate that the wildfires have destroyed more than 1,700 buildings.
Experts are blaming climate change-induced drought and high winds for the Hawaii wildfires.
In the last two weeks, Hawaii has experienced a sudden onset of drought.
[Venkat Lakshmi/University of Virginia hydrologist: “Between August 1 and August 8, you can see the abnormally dry conditions propagating rapidly within the (Hawaiian) region.”]
Hurricane Dora brought winds of up to 130 kilometers per hour to Hawaii, hundreds of miles away.
[Josh Green/Hawaii Governor: “Climate change is here and it’s affecting the islands, and that’s what we’re seeing in this fire.”]
U.S. media are reporting that the Hawaiian wildfires are the second deadliest wildfires in 2018, 먹튀검증 behind the California wildfires that killed 85 people.
President Joe Biden has recognized Hawaii as a disaster area and directed federal assistance.