The tourist town of Lahaina has been reduced to rubble, in what’s likely Hawaii’s biggest-ever natural disaster.
(Bloomberg) — Rescue and clean-up crews are pouring into the historic town of Lahaina, once the capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii, which has been leveled in what the governor called the state’s largest-ever natural disaster.
Fast-moving wildfires killed at least 55, and the police chief said it’s likely 1,000 people remain missing. Governor Josh Green warned the death toll will likely rise as search crews dig through damage that he likened to a bomb scene. Accuweather estimated losses from the fires at $8 billion to $10 billion.
Whatever caused the initial spark — be it a broken power line, campfire or something else — occurred amid a drought, which seared a landscape of invasive grass covering thousands of acres. Scientists say climate change is extending the length of fire season and increasing areas burned in many parts of the world.
As the city grieves, local and national officials prepare for years of rebuilding from the devastation seen below.
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