Due to the gusts of wind from the Dora storm, a forest fire has spread further across Big Island and Maui, Hawaii, United States (US), on Tuesday (8/8) local time.
In fact, some individuals trapped by the flames were forced to leap into the sea to save themselves.
According to local officials in Maui, near Lahaina, 12 people were rescued from the ocean after being trapped by the forest fire. Maui coastguard officers evacuated the victims to safe areas.
According to the US National Hurricane Center, Category 4 storm Dora had wind speeds of up to 209 kilometers per hour, located about 1,100 kilometers southwest of Honolulu on Tuesday night.
According to Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii Sylvia Luka, they did not issue a storm warning in Hawaii. Wind speeds on Big Island reached around 128 kilometers per hour.
However, the wind gusts aided the rapid spread of the fire, causing the forest fire to expand.
The local government has finally activated the National Guard to support emergency responders in evacuating residents trapped in the fire-affected areas.
Meanwhile, electricity networks in some regions have gone out due to the fire. As of early Wednesday (9/8), nearly 20 percent of Maui’s area experienced power outages. Telecommunication services have also been disrupted due to fallen cell phone towers.
Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii Sylvia Luke mentioned that the forest fire currently occurring in Maui has never happened before. She stated that the State of Hawaii is facing significant challenges in extinguishing the fire.
They have also requested the White House to declare a state of emergency due to the increasingly concerning situation.