'It's what we do' - Community unites to help locals and tourists
The Guardian|August 12, 2023
The former capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom, Lahaina, is a place with a rich landscape, sacred to Kanaka Maoli or Native Hawaiians, with a long connection to their ancestors.
Libby Leonard
'It's what we do' - Community unites to help locals and tourists

On Thursday local time, the town of 9,100 lay in ruins, destroyed by the largest natural disaster to hit Hawaii since Hurricane Iniki in 1992. At least 53 people have been confirmed dead by Thursday afternoon, and with fires still raging, officials said the death toll could rise as the search for survivors continues.

With mobile phone signals on the island of Maui still down, family members of residents have been taking to social media pleading for help in locating their loved ones, while volunteers have been posting lists of those who are found and those who still need to be located.

Kanani Adolpho, a Maui resident who is volunteering at the War Memorial Complex shelter in Waikulu, one of many across the island, has spent the last 24 hours posting live updates on Instagram with the names of people who have turned up at the shelter. At one point it was four pages long and contained locals and visitors.

"My heart is sore, but I don't want to break down in there because these people need my strength right now," she said in one of the live videos on Instagram.

Other organisations, including the Maui Lani Mormon church also posted lists, and a longer Google document started circulating on Facebook with over 2,800 names, some of which had been labelled as located, many who have not.

This story is from the August 12, 2023 edition of The Guardian.

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This story is from the August 12, 2023 edition of The Guardian.

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