Hawaii Wildfires: Tourists warned not to travel to Maui

The weekend saw a tragic rise in the death toll, reaching a devastating total of 93 lives lost in Maui.
Hawaii Wildfires: Tourists warned not to travel to Maui

As the wildfires on Maui continue to wreak havoc, the island's popular tourist destinations are facing a grim situation. The catastrophic fires, which ignited on Tuesday, have garnered support from celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Owen Wilson, and Clint Eastwood, who have rallied to aid and contribute to the victims. However, Aquaman actor and native Hawaiian, Jason Momoa, has issued a stern caution, advising potential travelers to refrain from visiting Maui during its ongoing recovery phase.

In an Instagram post, Momoa conveyed his heartfelt message: "Maui is not the place to have your vacation right now. Do not travel," he implored. "Do not convince yourself that your presence is needed on an island that is suffering this deeply."

The toll of the tragedy stands at a heartbreaking 93 lives lost, with communities like the historic Lahaina bearing the brunt of the devastation.

Momoa's video plea aimed to emphasize the Hawaiian community's urgent need to heal, mourn, and reconstruct. He stressed that the island's scarce resources must be prioritized for its residents, adding, "That means the fewer visitors on the island taking up critical resources that have become extremely limited, the better."

Momoa's intervention followed local dismay at tourists engaging in recreational activities while the islanders were grappling with the grim task of tallying the fatalities. Local authorities have urged individuals on non-essential trips to leave, while those planning travel to Maui are encouraged to postpone their plans.

Tourism, contributing a significant $18 billion (£14 billion) through 10.4 million visitors, was the largest source of private capital in 2019, as reported by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. A substantial portion of this revenue was attributed to Maui.

However, Maui's reliance on tourism is even more profound, generating approximately 80% of the island's overall revenue directly or indirectly, as indicated by the Maui Economic Development Board.

The wildfires were ignited amid dry summer conditions and potent winds associated with a passing hurricane. Although firefighting efforts persist in certain areas of the island, the situation is largely under control.

Tragically, these wildfires rank as the deadliest in U.S. history since the 2018 Camp Fire in California, which claimed a minimum of 85 lives.


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