The fire is burning the US islands of Hawaii and Maui in the Hawaiian archipelago. At least six people have died in the fires, local authorities said. As the correspondent of RMF FM radio found out, a group of 14 Poles was trapped on one of the islands.
The fire consumed a large part of the town of Lahaina, which is located on the Hawaiian island of Maui. Some tourist spots have become a burning hell, local authorities said. To escape the smoke and fire, people jumped into the Pacific. The coast guard pulled 14 people from the water, including two children. The American Red Cross opened an evacuation center at Maui High School.
Many districts of the island were burned to the ground, while the western part was almost cut off from the rest of the world. – The whole town of Lahaina is burned to ashes. It’s like an apocalypse,” said Mason Jarvi, a resident of Lahaina.
A group of Poles trapped on the island
According to RMF FM radio, a group of Poles got stuck on the island of Maui. – We left all our things in Lahaina. The whole town burned down. We are in bathing suits. All our stuff was burned. Only springs from mattresses are left from our center – said one of the Polish women in an interview with RMF FM. She added that the Internet works very poorly, Poles feel cut off from the world. “We can’t get to the airport because here between the town of Lahaina, where everything has burned to the ground, there’s no way to get through,” she said.
“Poles escaped from the resort in Hawaii, I know of a group of 14 people who found shelter outside of Lahaina,” wrote Paweł Żuchowski, an American correspondent for the station, on social media. “Everything they had with them was burned,” he added.
“Six people have been confirmed dead in the fires,” Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen told a news conference Wednesday. Residents fleeing the fire posted videos and photos on social media showing apocalyptic clouds of smoke billowing over usually idyllic beaches and palm trees. The US National Weather Service (NWS) explained that the fires are the result of a combination of dried vegetation, strong winds from Hurricane Dora and low humidity. According to the University of Hawaii, wildfires are not uncommon in parts of the Hawaiian archipelago, but the scale of those present is remarkable.
State of emergency
Hundreds of acres of forest and brush have already burned, and roads and schools have been closed in parts of Hawaii County, which includes Hawaii and Maui. Hawaii Lieutenant Governor Sylvia Luke has declared a state of emergency. State officials are urging tourists to stay away from the region.
“At least 4,000 tourists have tried to leave western Maui,” said Ed Sniffen of the Hawaii Department of Transportation.
Main photo source: PAP/EPA/CARTER BARTO