UPDATE 8/24/23: We are coming together in a time of unprecedented need. The recent wildfire on Maui is nothing short of catastrophic. It is the worst wildfire in the United States in over 100 years. Tragically, 115 people have lost their lives, and more than a thousand families are now without homes. Over 8,000 people have been rendered unemployed as a direct result of the fire. These statistics are staggering, and behind each number is a person, a family, a community that is suffering.We cannot stand by and do nothing. To help those affected, we are excited to announce a special opportunity for you to lend a hand.
WE ARE DONATING AND YOU CAN HELP!
Visit our Maui Fire Support page for details on current initiatives and ways your purchase can help families in need on Maui.
As you may be aware, a profound and unprecedented tragedy has befallen the island of Maui, resulting in a staggering loss of lives and property in what ranks as one of the most devastating brush fires in recent US history. The historic town of Lahaina in West Maui was abruptly ravaged by a swiftly advancing brush fire, fueled by unanticipated high winds emanating from a Hurricane situated hundreds of miles away. These winds propelled the existing fire down the mountainside towards Lahaina, triggering an unimaginable assault that forced both residents and visitors to plunge into the ocean in a desperate bid to escape the lethal threat.
In a scene of sheer terror, others fled in vehicles, navigating jammed roads choked with embers, smoke, and encroaching flames, accompanied by their loved ones. Tragically, some were unable to find an escape route, leading to an escalating death toll. The toll of lives lost continues to rise, reflecting the enormity of the catastrophe.
- The death toll stands at 80 individuals.
- Recent FEMA assessments reveal that 2,207 structures in Lahaina have either been damaged or completely destroyed.
- Estimated costs for reconstruction are projected to be $5.52 billion for Lahaina and $434 million for Kula.
- Three active fires persist: Lahaina, Pūlehu/Kīhei, and Kula.
- An unsafe water advisory remains in effect for the wildfire-affected areas of Lahaina and Upper Kula.
- Around 12,400 customers remain without power in Lahaina, with an additional 70 without power in the Upcountry region.
- The mass evacuation of visitors and residents from West Maui is ongoing.
- Six shelters are currently housing a total of 1,418 individuals.
The magnitude of the devastation is beyond comprehension. Lahaina, a hub of historical significance and a major tourist destination, also served as the home to thousands of residents, now tragically lost. The images emerging from the area depict an apocalyptic tableau of scorched vehicles, razed homes and businesses, all enveloped in an eerie haze of ash.
Amidst this crisis, FEMA, the National Guard, and the collective resources of the island remain engaged in search and rescue operations. However, challenges persist as emergency 911 coverage remains inconsistent, cell phone service is largely unavailable, and landlines have been disrupted. With no electricity, the air remains tainted by toxic smoke and ash, while the fires continue their relentless burn.
The narratives of personal tragedy are myriad and heart-wrenching. From the irreplaceable loss of loved ones and family homes to the significant repercussions such as lost jobs, abandoned possessions, and missing pets, the scale of devastation defies comprehension.
Furthermore, fires have also ravaged the upcountry area of Kula and the Kihei region of south Maui, inflicting millions of dollars in additional losses and further shattering lives.
Hawaiian Experience Spa, borne from the beauty and essence of the Hawaiian Islands, particularly Maui, holds deep ties to this land. Its founders, Steve and Cathy Ibach, drew inspiration from their time on Maui, where they underwent Hawaiian lomi lomi training in 2006. While their home fortunately remains unscathed, they are profoundly aware of the hardships endured by countless others affected by this calamity.
In the weeks and months ahead, the spa and its owners pledge to assist Maui’s residents in various capacities. While many of these efforts will remain private, the aim is to aid in recovery and restoration.
This communication serves to provide updates to our cherished friends, ‘ohana, and patrons and also presents a list of reputable organizations to which you can contribute, should you wish to extend your support to the victims who have suffered immeasurable loss. It’s essential to be vigilant against scams and ensure that any contributions are directed to verified charities listed here.
Mahalo, Steve, Cathy, and Mike Ibach