CNA Staff, Aug 11, 2023 / 09:10 am
Pope Francis offered his condolences after at least 55 people died in wildfires on the Hawaiian island of Maui.
The pope sent a condolence telegram on Friday expressing his sadness and solidarity with all who are suffering due to the destruction caused by the wildfires, which have destroyed hundreds of buildings and left scores missing or homeless.
The four ongoing fires started on Aug. 8 during a dry summer, with strong winds from nearby Hurricane Dora strengthening the inferno, the Associated Press reported. Many residents were surprised by the fast-moving flames and had to flee on foot, while thousands of tourists were evacuated.
Maui is the second-largest island in Hawaii by area, and the third most populous with more than 164,000 residents, according to 2022 U.S. Census Bureau estimates. The western Maui town of Lahaina, with fewer than 13,000 residents, was a major victim of the fire, with entire blocks burned to the ground.