Maui wildfire disaster updates for Aug. 21: President Biden visit
Maui Wildfire Disaster updates for Aug. 21: HERE.
Recovery efforts continue on Maui where wildfires decimated the Historic Lahaina Town in West Maui, leaving a path of destruction spanning an estimated 3.5 square miles. Multiple fires on the island were sparked on Aug. 8, and were fueled by strong winds and dry air as a hurricane passed well south of the islands.
Today, three of those fires remain active with crews monitoring for flare ups and hotspots. The death toll from the Lahaina fire remains at 114, with the identity of 11 victims publicly released by police since the investigation began. The wildfire is described as the nation’s deadliest in 100 years.
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will visit Maui today, to observe the impact of the Maui fires and join the state in mourning the devastating loss of life and land that has occurred across the island, as well as to discuss next steps in the recovery efforts. While on the ground, the President, First Lady, and Governor Josh Green, M.D., will meet with first responders, survivors, and federal, state and local officials.
The Lahaina Gateway distribution center for food, water and supplies, and the Wailuku Donation Center at the Queen Kaʻahumanu shopping center resume operations today after a Sunday closure for staff rest. The 24-hour Nāpili Plaza resource distribution site will close at 8 p.m. starting today, Monday, Aug. 21. It will continue 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 22. Sites will be merging in the near future; hours and locations will be announced soon.
- Olinda fire: now 85% contained, 1,081 acres burned. The Maui Fire Department is assisting State Division of Forestry and Wildfire with this joint fire-fighting effort.
- Kula fire: now 85% contained, 202 acres burned.
- Lahaina fire: now 90% contained, 2,170 acres burned.
At the time of this announcement, there are 115 confirmed fatalities with 85% of the disaster area searched. Maui police have identified 13 individuals publicly following notification of next of kin. Victims of the Maui Wildfire Disaster include: Douglas Gloege, 59, of Lahaina; Juan Deleon, 45, of Lahaina; Conchita Sagudang, 75, of Lahaina; Danilo Sagudang, 55, of Lahaina; Rodolfo Rocutan, 76, of Lahaina; Jonathan Somaoang, 76, of Lahaina; Angelita Vasquez, 88, of Lahaina; Donna Gomes, 71, of Lahaina; Melva Benjamin, 71, of Lahaina; Virginia Dofa, 90, of Lahaina; Alfredo Galinato, 79, of Lahaina; Robert Dyckman, 74, of Lahaina; and Buddy Jantoc, 79, of Lahaina.
Police say 22 other individuals have been identified, but their family has not been located or notified of their passing.
UNSAFE WATER ADVISORY
An Unsafe Water Advisory remains in effect for Lahaina (map) and Upper Kula (map). Until further notice, residents in these areas should only use bottled water or potable water provided from tankers for things like drinking, brushing teeth, ice-making, and food preparation. For potable water bring large water containers, at least 5 gallon capacity to:
- Lahaina: Lahaina Gateway Center, Puamana, Kahoma Village, or Honokōhau.
- Kula: Crater Road, Copp Road, Kula Fire Station, Rice Park, Kula Community Center, or Kēōkea.
Residents in impacted areas are not able to treat the water in any way to make it safe to consume, with contaminants such as benzene and other volatile organic chemicals entering the water system. Residents are further advised to: limit their use of hot water, reduce shower times while using lukewarm water in a ventilated area, not take baths, use a dishwasher and the air dry setting, wash clothes in cold water, dry laundry outdoors, avoid hot tubs or swimming pools, and use proper ventilation when using water indoors.
An updated map of the areas impacted by the Unsafe Water Advisory is available on the Department of Water Supply website, www.mauicounty.gov/water. Water sampling will continue Sunday and beyond.
COUNTY DISTRIBUTION AND DONATION SITES
The county-run resource distribution sites at Lahaina Gateway Center (LGC) and Queen Ka‘ahumanu Center (QKC) closed on Sunday to give volunteers rest. Both sites and their operations reopen today, Monday Aug. 21; LGC from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., QKC from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Upon reopening, QKC will accept donations of non-perishable food, bottled water, and hygiene products at the Kane Street entrance. No clothes at this time, please. The 24-hour Nāpili Plaza resource distribution site will reduce its hours starting today, with closure at 8 p.m. daily. It will continue 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 22. Sites will be merging in the near future; hours and locations will be announced soon.
ENTRY INTO DISASTER AREAS
Currently, the disaster area is restricted to authorized personnel only. At this time, media and residents are not allowed in the disaster area as significant hazards exist. For those accessing areas outside of the disaster area, the county urges individuals to continue to avoid all burn areas and do not enter any areas where structures were burned until you receive a clearance from authorities.
Dangers include ash that may contain toxic and cancer-causing chemicals including asbestos, arsenic, and lead and debris including broken glass, exposed electrical wires, nails, wood, plastics, and other objects. Unstable buildings and structures may contain hazardous materials and could collapse causing injury. For those who can return to their properties County officials urge all individuals to utilize Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) For more recommendations regarding PPE, including masks and associated hazards, go to bit.ly/WestMauiCaution
Recovery and other emergency response operators have been instructed to report any stray animal sightings to the Maui County Emergency Operations Center. The information will then be provided to Humane Society experts, so they can safely support the reported animal(s). The Maui Humane Society continues to search the perimeters of the affected area.
Remnant moisture from post-tropical cyclone Fernanda is forecast to impact the state, with the highest rainfall totals for Maui County expected to occur between Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning, according to the National Weather Service. Showers are forecast to be brief and primarily focused over windward and mauka areas. As the storm system approaches, emergency response crews have worked to deploy inlet protection devices at all street-level storm drain catch basins in the Lahaina disaster area, and absorbent booms have been installed by the US Coast Guard at eight storm drain outfalls entering the ocean within the impacted areas of Lahaina town. Even with protective measures in place, runoff from heavy rains could still result in dangerous ocean water quality conditions along shoreline areas between Kāʻanapali and Olowalu Landing. Out of an abundance of caution, beachgoers are advised to remain out of any brown water in those areas.
EMERGENCY SHELTERS (internet available, no media allowed inside)
An estimated 1,800 individuals are reported to be sheltered at six hotel locations around Maui as of Sunday, Aug. 20.
Those locations include:
- Hyatt Regency Maui 200 Nohea Kai Dr, Lahaina, HI 96761
- Outrigger Kāʻanapali Beach Resort 2525 Kāʻanapali Pkwy, Lahaina, HI 96761
- Royal Lahaina 2780 Kekaa Dr, Lahaina, HI 96761
- Honua Kai Outrigger 130 Kai Malina Pkwy, Lahaina, HI 96761
- Maui Seaside Hotel 100 W Kaʻahumanu Ave, Kahului, HI
- Westin Maui 2365 Kāʻanapali Pkwy, Lahaina, HI 96761
The Red Cross reports that displaced individuals still at congregate shelters has dwindled to just 16 people as of Sunday evening.
Shelters that still have displaced individuals include:
- War Memorial Gymnasium, Wailuku
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Kahului
- South Maui Community Park Gymnasium, Kīhei
An additional shelter is located at Kings Cathedral Church, Kahului. The shelter at the Mayor Hannibal Tavares Community Center closed on Sunday, as no residents remained at that location.
To qualify for these non-congregate hotel shelters, applicants must first register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
FEMA DIASTER RECOVERY CENTER ON MAUI
Maui residents affected by the recent wildfires can apply for federal disaster assistance, including hotel shelters, from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at a joint Disaster Recovery Center that operates daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College, 310 W. Kaʻahumanu Ave., Pilina Building, Kahului. You can also visit www.fema.gov/disaster/4724, call 800-621-3362, or apply through the FEMA smartphone application.
ROAD ACCESS TO LAHAINA
Late-night access on the road to Lahaina is limited to West Maui residents, first responders, and West Maui employees from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. All motorists may enter from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. The Maui Police Department will cite and tow vehicles parked at the Lahaina Bypass, where there are no-parking signs.
Maui Economic Opportunity will offer free rides for medical appointments for people impacted by the fires who are sheltering at the South Maui Community Park Gymnasium. The service, by reservation, operates daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Reservations can be made from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays at 808-877-7651. Daily county shuttle service is available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for Central Maui shelters to go to Central Maui shopping and medical locations. Riders are required to call Roberts Hawai‘i for same-day reservations at 808-871-4838. Mobility devices accommodated. Luggage and bags will be limited to what can be carried. For all other transportation needs, riders may use The Maui Bus.
The ferry from Maui island to Lānaʻi continues to offer service from Māʻalaea Harbor to Mānele Bay three days a week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday departing Māʻalaea at 1 p.m., Mānele at 3 p.m. The ferry service is a critical mode of transport, providing access to medical care for Lānaʻi residents, and access between the islands for first responders. Typically it operates out of Lahaina Harbor, which is closed due to the destruction that occurred during the recent wildfires.
In coordination with State and County response efforts on Maui, Hawaiian Electric crews are working to restore critical circuits in West Maui that serve essential services. These include grocery stores and pharmacies, along with a County wastewater pumping facility in the Lahaina area. Once that circuit is restored, coordination between county response teams, individual businesses, and private properties will determine next steps toward respective reopening at these commercial facilities. Installation of a second mobile substation, which will serve the Launiupoko to Olowalu area, is continuing. This mobile substation takes time to install to ensure safe and reliable connection to the island’s electric system.
Kaiser Permanente will continue to provide medical services to the public at two locations in Lahaina. Pharmacy courier services will be available, open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., seven days a week.
- Lahaina Gateway: Providing first aid, pediatric services, and OB/GYN services (Fridays only)
- First Aid Stations at the Hyatt Regency Lahaina, Lahaina Ballroom.
Kaiser Permanente’s First Aid Stations at Nāpili Plaza and the War Memorial Gym have permanently closed on Sunday, Aug. 20.
Maui Health clinicians and physicians will continue pop-up clinics for the west side – but the locations at Lahaina Gateway and Nāpili Plaza are moving to Hyatt Regency in Kāʻanapali starting 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 21. First-aid, wound care, health and wellness checks and pharmacy services, including baby formula for all community members in need, regardless of health insurance, are available. For details, visit www.mauihealth.org/wildfire.
Hawaii CARES 988 is a 24/7, free support service for help with crisis, mental health, and substance abuse. If you need mental health-related or addiction crisis support, or are worried about someone else, you can also call or text 988 (TTY 711) or visit the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline’s chat for free, confidential support with a trained crisis counselor.
King Kekaulike High School is scheduled to reopen for staff today, Aug. 21, with the anticipated return of students on Wednesday, Aug. 23.
FAMILY ASSISTANCE CENTER (Due to privacy, no media allowed)
For those seeking information regarding loved ones or those who are unaccounted for, the Family Assistance Center is located at the Hyatt Regency’s Monarchy Ballroom, 200 Nohea Kai Drive in Kāʻanapali. It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Expanded resources will be offered, with staff working with families and individuals to gather information and administer DNA swabs to assist with identification. For details, call 1-800-RED-CROSS (or 1-800-733-27677). If you live on a neighbor island or the continental U.S., are the immediate family member of a person missing as the result of the Maui wildfires, and you wish to provide a DNA sample to assist, please call the Federal Bureau of Investigation Honolulu Division at 808-566-4300.
COMMUNITY RESILIENCY HUBS
Mobile waste and hygiene facilities are available for community-led resiliency hubs assisting with recovery efforts. These include: rubbish dumpsters (please no charred fire debris), cardboard recycling bins, portable toilets, handwashing stations, and mobile showers. Leaders of these hubs are asked to contact the Maui County Department of Environmental Management at 808-270-7880 or email [email protected] with their requests. Supplies of these mobile hygiene and waste facilities are limited. DEM will work to allocate the appropriate resources to these hubs based on their needs and capacity.
ONLINE RESOURCE HUB: Donation and Volunteer information
An online, centralized hub to respond to the impacts of the Maui Wildfire Disaster is available at mauinuistrong.info . The County of Maui’s “Maui Nui Strong” site offers information on how to donate, volunteer, offer services, and locate support. It is administered through the County’s Office of Economic Development, and will be utilized to connect people to resources and services.
When attempting to connect with loved ones in areas of low cell phone or internet connectivity, it is best to text, not call. Maui County updates will now be aired daily at noon on local radio stations.
DMVL SATELLITE OFFICE IN LAHAINA
The County of Maui Division of Motor Vehicles and Licensing’s Lahaina Satellite Office will reopen Monday, Aug. 21, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Lahaina Gateway Center, 325 Keawe St., to assist West Maui residents whose Hawaiʻi driver’s licenses or Hawaiʻi State Identification cards have been lost or destroyed by wildfires. For more information, call 808-270-7363.