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  • Writer's pictureSophia Wang

Wildfires in Maui Become Largest Natural Disaster Ever in Hawaii

Updated: Aug 21, 2023

On the daily drive to school, I go past a house that burned down a few years ago and was never rebuilt, the black skeleton of the house standing out against the greenery around it. This made me start thinking about the numerous wildfires that have burned across the United States.

Recently, wildfires have blazed across the Hawaiian island of Maui, killing at least 114 people, with 850 missing. The fires were spread in part by strong winds from Hurricane Dora to the south, along with an ongoing drought that worsened. Hundreds of buildings are estimated to have been burned to the ground or damaged, causing estimated billions of dollars in losses, and the neighborhood of Lahaina, a tourist center in western Maui, has been completely destroyed. These fires mark the largest natural disaster in Hawaii’s history and the deadliest fires in the US in more than a century. President Joe Biden has approved a disaster declaration, giving federal aid to help in Maui’s recovery.

Besides the fatalities that have been accounted for, there are people missing with rescue efforts facing challenges of power outages and no cellular service. With the amount of people being relocated, there’s not enough long-term shelter and an overwhelming number of patients at hospitals. However, visitors have been relocated, with airlines increasing capacity and some dropping fares.

The warming climate has a large role in the eruption of these fires and everyone must play their part to help slow global warming and climate change.


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