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Human Toll

Heartbreaking Stories Told By Lahaina Residents at the Maui County Council meeting on Aug 22.

Kennedy spoke at a recent event to honor those who have been serving those impacted by the fire

Resident Testimonies
Christy Shaver     Horror, Survival, and Hope on August 8, 2023

 

Prayer and vigil for Lahaina residents

Sunanda, Indian descent, lived in Maui 30 years (26.52 min. clip)

Sunanda is a cook and service worker for Salvation Army’s “Women Helping Women” program. She lived in Hale Mahaolu Eono Senor Home in Lahaina (810 Kelawea St) with her husband.  This facility was totally destroyed and a number of her neighbors died in the fire.
 

She reports no power at 5:30 am on that day and that it temporarily came back on at 6:30 am. She was napping when she smelled smoke, woke up and saw it was pitch black outside due to the heavy smoke. She grabbed some items. Outside she encountered flames, saw gas tanks and houses exploding and fled to an Aunty’s house in Lani Poco. She claims the fire jumped the road towards Lani Poco, but a resident started bulldozing the area to create a fire block and it worked.
 

The day of the fire she experienced a Chicken Pox outbreak for the first time. She does claim that she had visited someone in the hospital a few days earlier who had shingles but the outbreak raged to the surface with severe itching the day of and day after the fires. She showed me the scabs on her arms and upper torso which were beyond the crusted stage. NOTE: We should be asking for all skin/rash reactions.  Some biological weapons do resemble chicken pox lesions.  (see attached pdf)
 

The next morning at 4AM she tried to go back into the burn zone but was blocked.  She gave them her address details, etc. but was denied.  They are still denying her.
 

John, Native Hawaiian, Landscaper & Arborist (33.21 min. clip)

John resides in Lahaina.  His home did not burn but came close. He was above the fires and he could see watch the damage progress. He wishes he had filmed it all. He reports he has lost over 50% of his landscaping business.

John reports he is angry, sad, and blames government for all this. He suffers from recent sleep disruption and disturbing dreams.

On that day he reports seeing many power poles down by Hwy30.  He saw a gas station explode. He got in his car and tried to go to Front St.  He was blocked by the cops (around noon) but waited until they left and went around this blockade then went home as the fire made a left onto Front St.  He saw the old church burn.  No firefighters anywhere.  The fire moved south down Front Street unstopped. He saw the cops had stopped all traffic trying to leave Lahaina.

About 1-2 weeks before the fire, residents got a memo (he thinks from the gov.) about plans to turn Maui into a smart city.  He pointed to the West Maui Land Development company, specifically its owner, Peter Martin, for always being on the scene whenever a fire started in the past. He thinks he’s behind this “land grab”.  “Wherever there’s a fire, he’s there,” John stated.  “They want to turn Maui into a playground for the rich.”

John also talked about West Maui Land Deve

lopment being behind water shut off in the past and having to confront them then suddenly water was turned back on. “They try to steal water,” he claims.

John managed to be in the burn zone the next day before FEMA came in. As an arborist, he says they care more about the banyan tree than the missing children.  He says the native Hawaiians don’t like that tree.  “It’s the symbol of hate and capitalism.”  He says it represents colonial oppression after stealing their lands.  He doesn’t care if it lives or dies.

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