Maui wildfire disaster updates for Aug. 23: FBI says unaccounted individuals is more than 1,000
Maui Wildfire Disaster updates for Aug. 23: 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. The wildfire is described as the nation’s deadliest in 100 years.
Today, consolidation is underway at county-run distribution supply sites. The phased reopening of King Kekaulike High School is underway. Eight more people have been identified out of the 115 confirmed dead; and more than 1,000 remain unaccounted for. A second mobile substation has been energized in Lahaina, with 1,800 still without power.
- Olinda fire: 85% contained, 1,081 acres burned.
- Kula fire: 85% contained, 202 acres burned.
- Lahaina fire: 90% contained, 2,170 acres burned.
While the containment percentages have not changed significantly over the past several days, the Maui Fire Department wants to reassure the public that there are no “active fire threats” at this time. “The fires are not advancing, but full containment can be more difficult to establish and determine in urban settings. MFD continues to utilize infrared technology, water drops, and firefighters to locate and address hot spots in the ongoing effort to fully extinguish these fires,” county officials report.
There are 115 confirmed fatalities with 100% single-story residential properties searched in the disaster area. Teams have transitioned to searching multi-story residential and commercial properties.
Maui police have identified 27 individuals publicly following notification of next of kin, including six additional individuals on Wednesday evening. Victims of the Maui Wildfire Disaster include:
Tau Ponali, 66, of Lahaina; Valerie Kauffman, 78, of Lahaina; Salvador Coloma, 77, of Lahaina; Carlo Tobias, 54, of Lahaina; Albert Kitaguchi, 62, of Lahaina; Lynn Manibog, 74, of Lahaina; Clyde Wakida, 74, of Lahaina; Todd Yamafuji, 68, of Lahaina; Antonia Molina, 64, of Lahaina; Freeman Tam Lung, 80, of Lahaina; Theresa Cook, 72, of California; Joseph Schilling, 67, of Lahaina; Narciso Baylosis Jr., 67, of Lahaina; Vanessa Baylosis, 67, of Lahaina; 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.
The FBI reports the number of unaccounted for will fluctuate as they merge lists from various sources. On Tuesday afternoon, the agency said the unaccounted for list had the names of between 1,000 and 1,100 individuals.
POWER and COMMUNICATIONS:
Hawaiian Electric energized a second mobile substation in the Lahaina area on Tuesday, as crews work to restore a majority of West Maui customers by this weekend and continue to safely rebuild sections of Maui’s electric grid. About 1,800 West Maui customers and approximately 50 Upcountry customers remain without power.
When attempting to connect with loved ones in areas of low cell phone or internet connectivity, it is best to text not call. Though there is coverage in these areas the capacity is still building, which can result in dropped calls. Maui County updates will continue to be aired daily at noon on local radio stations.
SHELTERS and HOUSING:
Nearly 2,400 individuals are sheltered at 10 hotel locations around Maui, in coordination with the American Red Cross. More than 146,000 meals have been served to date by the Salvation Army and Red Cross at shelters throughout the disaster response.
The current shelter locations include:
- Hyatt Regency Maui – 200 Nohea Kai Dr., Lahaina
- Royal Lahaina – 2780 Kekaa Dr, Lahaina
- Honua Kai Outrigger – 130 Kai Malina Pkwy, Lahaina
- Outrigger Kāʻanapali Beach Resort – 2525 Kāʻanapali Pkwy, Lahaina
- Aston Kāʻanapali Shores – 3445 Lower Honoapi‘ilani Rd., Lahaina
- Fairmont Kea Lani – 4100 Wailea Alanui Dr., Wailea
- Westin Maui – 2365 Kāʻanapali Pkwy, Lahaina
- Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort – 3550 Wailea Alanui Dr., Wailea
- Maui Beach Hotel – 170 West Ka‘ahumanu Ave., Kahului
- Maui Seaside Hotel – 100 W Kaʻahumanu Ave, Kahului
To qualify for these hotel shelters, applicants must first register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. This can be done at a joint Disaster Recovery Center that operates daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the University of Hawai‘i Maui College, 310 W. Ka‘ahumanu Ave., Pilina Building, Kahului. Displaced individuals can also visit www.fema.gov/disaster/4724, call 800-621-3362, or apply through the FEMA smartphone application.
The state Department of Human Services announced an additional 250 Air BnB units are available to displaced residents or families on Maui for 21-day stays. Go to Lahaina Gateway Center, Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., to pre-register.
Landlords, management companies, and homeowners from across the state have offered to rent more than 900 houses, apartment units and rooms immediately to the thousands of Maui residents who lost their homes to the wildfires. Of the 900-plus properties offered to date, just over half the properties are on Maui, about 30% are on Oʻahu, with 10 proposals from owners of property outside of Hawaiʻi. Nearly 80 families have been placed into housing through the Hawaiʻi Housing Finance and Development Corporation. For assistance call 808-587-0469 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or email [email protected].
FOOD, WATER, SUPPLY DISTRIBUTION: SITES CONSOLIDATED
County of Maui-facilitated distribution sites are transitioning locations, times, days and focus, according to an announcement released on Tuesday evening. The sites offer food, water and supplies to people impacted by Maui wildfires. County officials say the consolidation shifts come because electricity and Internet connectivity continue to be restored in fire-affected areas, and community-organized efforts are pivoting to long-term aid.
Moving ahead, sites will focus on food and water. The schedule for the remainder of this week is:
- Nāpili Plaza closed as of Tuesday evening, Aug. 22.
- Lahaina Gateway, 325 Keawe St., Lahaina: is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday
- Queen Kaʻahumanu Center donation drop-off site, parking lot fronting Kaʻahumanu Avenue and Kane Street: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday. Non-perishable food, water and paper supplies sought; no clothing donations, please. While pick-ups have been available, the focus will move to drop-offs.
Feed my Sheep mobile food distribution sites
- Kahului: 150 South Puʻunēnē Ave., 9:30 a.m. to noon Saturday
- Wailuku: Parking lot next to Living Way Church at the corner of Market and Mokuhau streets in Happy Valley, 10 to 11:30 a.m. Friday
- Lahaina: The Lahaina distribution site for Feed My Sheep is pending, while the Lahaina Gateway food distribution site is open during distribution site hours and days, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday
County of Maui has partnered with volunteer group West Maui Community Aid to offer support to grass-roots sites, also known as Family Helping Family sites, in discussing long-term aid to the community.
As a result of these efforts, some Family Helping Family sites have chosen to combine with county efforts, and some have chosen to continue efforts on their own. Sites opting to continue on their own confirmed they will remain self-sufficient; they will re-evaluate need in the next two weeks.
West Maui Community Aid and the county are working together to transition from short-term emergency response that utilized multiple sites—to long term, sustainable sites for families impacted by the fires. County officials say, “support will be available as long as the community needs it.”
MEDICAL and NUTRITIONAL SUPPORT:
A Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program replacement benefit is available for recipients who experienced loss of food as a result of the recent wildfires. The replacement will be for the amount of the loss, not to exceed the August 2023 monthly allotment for the household. Replacements will be authorized if reported between Aug. 14 through Sept. 15, 2023. To apply for SNAP replacement benefits, visit the Processing Center in your area or call the Public Assistance Information Line 1-855-643-1643.
The Emergency Prescription Assistance Program helps uninsured people after disasters to be sure they still have the medicines and medical equipment they normally use to stay healthy. To enroll, call 1-855-793-7470 or visit https://aspr.hhs.gov/epap for more information from the US Department. of Health and Human Services.
Hawaii CARES 988 is a 24/7 support service for help with crisis, mental health, and substance abuse. If you, a family member (including keiki), or someone you know need confidential assistance with a trained crisis counselor, please call/text 988 (TTY 711) or visit the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline’s chat.
FAMILY ASSISTANCE CENTER:
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 US, 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, call the Federal Bureau of Investigation Honolulu Division at 808-566-4300. DNA samples are only for identification of wildfire victims and survivors, and will not be stored or used for any other purpose. In some cases, this information may be the best way to determine identification with regards to the destructive nature of the wildfires.
UNSAFE WATER ADVISORY:
The Unsafe Water Advisory remains in effect for Lahaina and Upper Kula. 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 please 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, mauicounty.gov/water. Water sampling continues.
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, cancer-causing chemicals including asbestos, arsenic, and lead with 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. More recommendations regarding PPE are available HERE.
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 the Maui Humane Society so they can safely retrieve, rehabilitate, and support the reported animal(s). This protocol has already resulted in the rescue and treatment of animals in the disaster area.
In addition, the Maui Humane Society reports having distributed more than 17,000 lbs of pet food and supplies to pet owners affected by the wildfires. They continue to offer these goods, as well at veterinary services, at several distribution sites island-wide. Visit mauihumanesociety.org for the latest distribution locations.
Late-night, vehicular access into Lahaina is limited to West Maui residents, first responders, and West Maui employees from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Evening road blocks on Honoapi‘ilani Highway (Highway 30) are located at Māʻalaea and Waiheʻe. 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.
A free Kāʻanapali Circulator Shuttle is available for people who are staying at any of the American Red Cross hotel shelters in West Maui, including the Hyatt Regency Maui, Outrigger Kāʻanapali Beach Resort, Royal Lahaina, Honua Kai and the Westin Maui in Kāʻanapali. The circulator shuttle runs in a continuous loop and is available daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. It connects the shelters to various services located at the different hotels, including the Family Assistance Center, located at the Hyatt Regency Maui.
Maui Economic Opportunity Human Services and Maui Bus ADA Paratransit buses resumed trips to, from, and within West Maui beginning Tuesday, Aug. 22. Buses will not be traveling to restricted areas. The Human Services system provides rides for low-income and rural residents, kupuna, youth, persons with disabilities and those living outside the paratransit service area without charge to doctor’s appointments, dialysis, youth centers after school, employment and other destinations. Human Services buses run 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Saturday depending on destination and type of service. Paratransit buses run every day, including holidays, from 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., depending on the location, in conjunction with Maui Bus routes. Both services require riders to be registered and approved prior to making a reservation. Applications are found at https://www.meoinc.org; reservations can be made by calling 808-877-7651.
Uber is now working with the American Red Cross to provide rides (up to $40) to people in hotel shelters on Maui who do not have transportation options. To redeem the discount, riders must apply the promo code “MAUI23” in the Wallet section of their Uber app prior to requesting the ride, which is valid for UberX or UberXL.
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.
King Kekaulike High School reopenS for freshman today, Aug. 23, with sophomores, juniors and seniors returning Thursday, Aug. 24. Four public schools in Lahaina were impacted by the wildfires and closed the morning of Aug. 8: King Kamehameha III Elementary, Princess Nāhiʻenaʻena Elementary, Lahaina Intermediate, and Lahainaluna High. The Kamehameha III campus was damaged to the point of disrepair, while the other three sustained wind damage. For State Department of Education information and resources to assist those impacted by the wildfires, please visit: bit.ly/HIDOE-West-Maui-Resources.
RESOURCE HUB: DONATION and VOLUNTEER INFO:
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. For any additional questions, or to talk to a county representative regarding the Maui Wildfire Disaster, please call 808-270-7285.