Global National: Aug. 12, 2023 | How Maui was caught off guard by catastrophic wildfires

Global National: Aug. 12, 2023 | How Maui was caught off guard by catastrophic wildfires

The death toll from the wildfires in Maui now stands at 80, and about a thousand people remain missing. The fire is now mostly contained and some survivors are returning to find their community in ruins. Global’s Neetu Garcha is in Maui and has been speaking with evacuees including a Canadian school principal.

Residents say the wildfires hit without warning and some are now demanding to know why their large seaside community was caught off guard. As Reggie Cecchini explains, experts say this fire offers lessons for the future.

At least six asylum seekers have been killed after their boat sank in the English Channel. It’s the latest in a string of similar tragedies. More than 1,000 migrants have tried to make the journey to the UK by boat in just the last two days. As Touria Izri reports, those who survived the journey, face tough, new immigration measures.

With no end in sight to the war in Ukraine, tensions are rising in neighbouring Poland – particularly along its border with Belarus. The Polish government claims Belarussian military helicopters entered its airspace at the beginning of the month. In response, Poland’s government ordered 10,000 troops to the border to bolster defences – while on the other side, mercenaries from Russia’s Wagner group are reportedly training Belarussian forces. Those military maneuvers are making NATO nations nervous. Tonight, Crystal Goomansingh looks at the work underway to keep Poland safe.

Artificial Intelligence just might join you on your next vacation. Tourism Jasper in Alberta’s rocky mountains is now using AI in hopes of making the destination more popular. And they’re not alone- as Heather Yourex-West explains, applications like ChatGPT and Oliver A.I. are taking the industry by storm.

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27 Responses

  1. odyshop ody says:

    Living in Northern California I know of similar disasters here, about 30 years ago the Berkley hills caught on fire during high winds and burnt down hundreds of homes, that fire killed a lot of people . Then recently I think 5 years ago there was another large fire in the Napa area that again was due to high winds and downed power lines. That fire burned through the town at night killing a lot of people in their beds, I remember a couple who had to jump into their pool to survive because it was to late to get out. My sister lives on Maui so I’ve been there many times, I pray they find most of the missing alive, so sad seeing all that devastation!

  2. Emily Vickery says:

    Thoughts are with Hawaii residents.

    Reminds me of the bushfires near Melbourne Australia at Kings Lake where towns were wiped out. The Mallacoota, Australia bushfire saw ppl fleeing into the ocean. It was only one of several large fires all along the east coast of Australia. Poor NZ copped the smoke.

    It is amazing to see how fast Mother Nature did her magic, the forests all bounced back.

  3. Kathryn Moffatt says:

    From Midland, Michigan my heart is with the people of Maui. I was fortunate to visit in 1976 and spent a day in Lahaina. I loved my short time there. This makes me so sad. I will pray for you.
    Stay strong.

  4. Liss says:

    These types of scenarios are absolutely heartbreaking, but they truly show humanity. There were so many people helping others and taking care of others. This is the only beauty to come from such tragedy.

    • primesspct2 says:

      Yes I was in Irma, and that’s what I took away from that is the beauty of all the people we were trapped and flooded in with. Everyone helping everyone. It was nothing as devastating at this.

    • Loni Lamputsa says:

      Shows how small humanity is.

  5. Sam A says:

    Hopes and prayers going out to the people of Maui, from all of us in Lytton, BC…. we know what it’s like to lose everything… stick together… stay strong… and take care of each other!

    • metaltomotown says:

      Wonderful sentiment and advice. Sometimes what you have indicated is all that there is. Less the deceased whom/that truly lost everything. AMJ

    • marie luce navas says:

      Of everywhere of our world moved by that unbilievable tragedy!

    • metaltomotown says:

      @marie luce navas Hopefully so. But I haven’t seen any influx from the so-called international community – whom America is always the first one there – otherwise. AMJ metaltomotown

  6. JM BMLC says:

    Lahaina is located on the west side of the island which is known for its dry land. Dry brush including trees and grass mainly during a very hot summer condition. And this summer was one of the driest like no other as we have seen throughout the US of how hot temperatures have been and the state of Hawaii, known for its warm weather had an increase in heat related temperatures. Which is why red flag alerts have been broadcasted weekly throughout local news media for all major islands all summer long. Another factor to include are electric power lines throughout Lahaina city and country roads. These power lines are mostly held up by wooden poles like most cities instead of steel poles. The problem with wooden poles are that they rot over time and weaken especially if they’re termite infested and Hawaii is well known for termites. Every year brush fires occur during the summer throughout the State. Some large but mostly smaller fires. Hawaii hurricane season runs from beginning of June until ending of November. Over a week ago we knew a hurricane was slowly moving towards the southern part of the Hawaiian Islands. Once we knew the hurricane remained south of the islands, there was no concern by state and city officials of heavy rains and flooding. But, they knew STRONG WINDS AND GUSTS up to 80 mph winds were still going to approach the island chain. However, no one in the leadership positions I have mentioned seemed to have any concerns of everything I described above. This was a time bomb waiting to go off! And it saddens me so much because of the loss of so many lives and property from this tragedy which could have been prevented. My thoughts and prayers to all those who were affected by these wildfires 🙏

    • Bouncer says:

      And so many think Govt is our savior.

    • Loni Lamputsa says:

      You are surrounded by water. You could have been watering the lands. 😢😢

    • Brads187 Bradley says:

      Very informative. And so sad.

    • Jordan Lacefield says:

      Wildfires melting cars, burning boats on water while the trees are still standing is not from drought.

    • Austin Spears says:

      ⁠@Jordan Lacefieldyou know as I watch the video, I’m not sure if you saw the video or not in London when a town was demolished just like this about two years ago… what I’m saying is yes this wasn’t a regular fire, and listen to everyone who survived THEY ALL SAID no warning “BOOM” exactly why nobody got a amber alert or anything.

  7. Heather in Oz says:

    The towns and communities that were destroyed in bushfires here in Victoria, Australia have been rebuilt and are once again thriving. Lahaina will do the same.

    • Maria G. says:

      The community can rise again but there were precious and even sacred structures and objects that can’t be replaced. It was a very special place. I’m hoping that most of those 1000 missing are found alive but the death toll is going to be horrific.

    • Emily Vickery says:

      ​​@Maria G.There are Indigenous Australian sacred places where the Victorian bushfires occurred.

    • Emily Vickery says:

      Yes it is amazing to drive through West King Lake etc and see how the forest has grown back. It’s good to see how the communities have redeveloped resilience. We often make a point of stopping there to support local businesses.

  8. Debbie P says:

    I’m watching the coverage on Maui to see if any news station is going to talk about how gentrification created the situation of what was wetlands and should not have burned. How the water shortage added to the situation. Only seeing this from native Hawaiians explaining the situation.

  9. Tessie Tesoro says:

    Praying for healing, recovery, strenght, and those who died, may they rest in peace. 🙏🙏🙏

  10. RubricalChain25 says:

    Back in June me and my family stayed in Ka’anapali, about 15 minutes north of Lahaina because we have some family in Kahului. We went down to Historic Lahaina and ate lunch and stuff, had some Del Sol pineapple ice cream one of the day, it was a pretty place. Several before and after pictures I have seen I saw in person just a couple months ago. My dad will be going out there to help out soon, been praying for safe travels for him out there, and definitely will keep praying for the people of Hawaii 🙏

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