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Maui Fire Survivors Begin Reentry to Their Devastated Community
Lahaina residents are returning to the place where their homes once stood
Last month in West Maui, horrific flames ravaged the town of Lahaina and devastated the community beyond recognition. Many of you have seen the terrifying images and heard the heartbreaking stories of those who survived, and those who perished. The vacuum they have left behind can never be filled.
The official death toll has been reported at 97 people. 75 of those have been identified and their families notified, while 31 people remain on the missing persons list.
Today, for the first time, Lahaina residents will be allowed to go back and visit what remains in the aftermath of the fire’s devastation. This day has been a long time coming.
Residents reentering their properties are being cautioned to wear protective equipment, be cautious around debris, and drink plenty of water due to the extreme heat compounded by necessary safety gear. Children and pregnant women are at higher risk from debris hazards and are being advised to stay away from the impacted area. More guidance for returning Lahaina residents can be found here.
It has been 48 days since this disaster changed their lives and world forever. The long road to recovery, rebuilding, and restoration is just beginning.
It has been incredible to witness the strength, courage, heroism, and resilience of this community. Even those who have lost so much are enduring blood, sweat, and tears through sleepless nights to care for others. They embody what the aloha spirit is all about.
Your heartfelt donations helped make this possible. With aloha and my deepest gratitude, thank you. Mahalo nui loa for your kokua, kindness, and generosity for Maui’s people and for supporting our relief efforts across the island.
Your quick and gracious response to our Maui Relief Fund was tremendous and overwhelming. You stepped up to help our brothers and sisters in need — from West Maui to Upcountry in the Kula area — providing communication equipment they desperately needed, as well as basic life support, including food, water, medicine, clothes, and fuel.
Since Week 1 of the disaster when I arrived on Maui with volunteers from my non-profit We Must Protect, the work to help survivors has continued with each passing day. Your donations to our Maui Relief Fund have made this possible.
Your donations have gone directly towards filling requests from community leaders: pop-up tents and tables to organize and distribute food and supplies, as well as other and essentials to support a reliable system of communication for those on the ground — since cell service, telephone lines, and internet were all down:
Because of you, we raised almost $100,000 to provide critical needs to our Maui ‘ohana with multiple orders of goods and supplies coming in by air and sea:
Even though you may not be physically present on Maui, I’ve been asked by many of those receiving our care packages and supplies to pass along their gratitude to you.
Mahalo for stepping up to support our friends and neighbors in need.
Mahalo to the Menehune Water Company for donating one hundred 5-gallon water jugs that we distributed to families in need. Mahalo to Range Global and Banyan Networks for donating six satellite phones + a month of free service.
The people of West Maui have a long road ahead. There are still thousands of people with no home, and no idea about how or when they can begin rebuilding their lives. I hope you will join us in continuing to stand with and support the people of Maui every step of the way.