Over the past 48 hours, wildfires have devastated Hawaii’s Maui island, particularly on the west coast, resulting in 53 confirmed deaths and over a thousand people missing. Governor Josh Green stated that this is the worst disaster the island state has ever experienced. He expressed concerns that the death toll from the current wildfires might soon clime well over triple digits. Furthermore, around 1,700 structures are estimated to have been impacted by the inferno.
Lahaina, a historic township on Maui, has been devastated, with 80% of its infrastructure reduced to ashes. Governor Green likened the aftermath to the devastation caused by a bomb, mentioning that many buildings, cherished and celebrated by multiple generations, were utterly decimated.
In a desperate bid to escape the relentless advance of the flames, approximately 100 residents of Lahaina reportedly jumped into the sea. Aja Kirksey, the U.S. Coast Guard commander, revealed this to CNN. Newly released footage paints a harrowing picture of Lahaina’s citizens, trying to survive in turbulent waters while avoiding the encroaching fire.
New video has surfaced of people jumping into the ocean from wildfires in Lahaina, Hawaii pic.twitter.com/bFa1UC9f9w
— Sprinter (@Sprinter99800) August 11, 2023
The visuals depict residents of one of Maui’s oldest and most historic towns, grasping the sea walls, battling fierce winds, and dodging flying embers.
While some residents found momentary solace by holding onto a large plyboard, all were in dire need of rescue. The Coast Guard intervened, successfully extracting 50 individuals from the water in Lahaina.