First of thousands of Lahaina residents return to homes destroyed by deadly wildfire

Thousands of Lahaina, Hawaii residents have begun returning to their properties after a deadly wildfire destroyed their homes.

Aftermath: The wildfire on August 8 had led to authorities restricting access to the burned area, which was reopened for the residents on Monday for supervised visits.
* Darryl Oliveira, interim administrator of the Maui Emergency Management Agency, highlighted the extent of the destruction.
* The wildfire killed at least 97 people, destroying over 2,000 buildings, mostly homes.
* Officials have urged residents to avoid sifting through ashes due to the risk of raising toxic dust.

Residents’ Experiences: Returning to their devastated properties has invoked strong emotions in the residents.
* Jes Claydon, a resident, shared her anticipation to collect mementos from the ruins of her rental home.
* Residents were provided with water, shade, washing stations, portable toilets, medical and mental health care, and transportation assistance if needed.

Support measures: Various organizations have extended support to help residents navigate the loss.
* Samaritan’s Purse, a nondenominational Christian ministry, had a team assisting the residents in sorting through the remains of their homes.
* Their goal is to help residents find any potential mementos amongst the ashes.

View original article on NPR

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