Wildfires on the island of Maui has caused record amounts of devastation to the town of Lahaina and surrounding areas. The death toll is reported at upwards of 55 people--with more expected, as rescue efforts continue. What is going on Maui is historic. Democracy Now reports that Hawaii Governor Josh Green said in a statement,

 “What we saw was likely the largest natural disaster in Hawaii state history. … We are seeing loss of life here. As you know, the number has been rising, and we will continue to see loss of life. … We also have seen many hundreds of homes destroyed, and that’s going to take a great deal of time to recover from."

With Hawaii being a bustling summer vacation destination, particularly for New Yorkers, The Hawaiian Tourism Authority issued the following statement:

Visitors who are on nonessential travel are being asked to leave Maui, and nonessential travel to Maui is strongly discouraged at this time and to consider rescheduling their travel plans for a later time.”

However, the Los Angeles Times reports that,

“Travel to Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi" and parts of Hawaiʻi Island other than the Mauna Kea resort area "are not affected at this time,” the authority said on its website Wednesday. By Thursday, the Mauna Kea Resort on the big island was open again after three fires in the area were brought under control, the authority said.

Um.

While the other islands in the Hawaiian Island archipelago have not been hit with the devastation that west Maui has experienced, people who have been displaced from the fires and who require medical attention have been routed to receive services on other islands that have the infrastructure to care for them--which, of course, impacts the whole of Hawaii.

Should you cancel your trip to Hawaii then? To Maui, for sure. You can read more about that here.

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MAUI RELIEF | ainamomona (kaainamomona.org)

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