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Fundraiser planned for Lahaina

Friday 25 August 2023 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Local, National, Pacific Islands, Regional

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In support for the fire destructed town of Lahaina, in Maui, Hawaii, a meeting will be held at 12 noon today at the Uritaua House in Avatiu.

The community is invited to attend the meeting to discuss and confirm fundraising events for the people of Lahaina.

Lahaina was once home to about 13,000 people - it has now become an ashen wasteland.

As of 10am yesterday, The Associated Press reported “More than 100 deaths have been confirmed, and roughly 1,000 people remain unaccounted for”.

Doreen Kavana Boggs lived in Hawaii for 11 years (1981 - 1992)  right in the heart of Waikiki Honolulu. She used to visit Lahaina for a getaway break from the main island.

“All kinds of things go through your mind, it just hurts you,” she said.

“It’s really sad that it’s happened and you feel like it’s a part of you, our Pacific islands we always feel for them.”

The meeting today is to bring our whole community together to ask for their pledges, for their help, we are going to try and put together a fundraiser to help out those in Lahaina, she said.

“We need to set it up properly, organise an account, radiothon, food selling, and people are welcome to bring along their ideas.”

Kavana Boggs was living in Hawaii when Cyclone Sally devastated Rarotonga in 1982.

Cook Islanders living in Hawaii gathered to host a fundraiser with the help of Bob Worthington - the Cook Islands Consulate at the time.

“When the word got out, the Cyclone Sally fundraiser quickly came together, the Hawaiians also joined in and supported us.

 “We sent cash donations, mattresses, pillows and things that were needed, flown to Rarotonga on a Hercules.”

For many years Cook Islands students have and continue to attend Brigham Young University and several educational institutions spread across Hawaii.

The Associated Press updated August 24 10.01am reported: The road closures — some because of the fire, some because of downed power lines — contributed to making historic Lahaina the site of the deadliest U.S. wildfire in more than a century.

A flash drought in the region provided plenty of kindling, and Hurricane Dora brought strong winds to Maui as it passed roughly 500 miles (800 kilometres) south of the Hawaii island chain. Those winds downed at least 30 power poles in West Maui, and Hawaiian Electric had no procedure in place for turning off the grid — a common practice in other fire-prone states. Video shot by a Lahaina resident shows a downed powerline setting dry grasses alight, possibly revealing the start of the larger fire.