Responding to Hawaii’s Wildfires

14th August 2023

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Samaritan’s Purse is working with local church partners and emergency management to help in the wake of catastrophic loss.

UPDATE (14 August):
Sadly, the death toll continues to rise, reaching more than 95. The Maui fire is now the deadliest US wildfire in over a century. Please pray for Samaritan’s Purse as we assess needs and prepare to bring tonnes of relief supplies in the coming days.

Our Disaster Assitance Response teams are on the ground in Hawaii spearheading Samaritan’s Purse relief response following deadly wildfires that swept through Maui this week. Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains are also on the island to provide emotional support and spiritual comfort to residents reeling in the wake of so much loss.

Franklin Graham's Facebook post from 8-11 (see quote in story)

As soon as affected areas are accessible, volunteer teams will be helping homeowners in some of the most devastated communities sift through the ashes in search of valuables, photos, and mementos. In the coming days, we also plan to send tonnes of relief supplies to the island via our DC-8 aircraft.

Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham, in a Facebook post 11 August, asked people to pray.

“So many are in shock and devastated,” he said. “Pray for our teams, that we would be the hands and feet of our Lord Jesus Christ, and pray especially for those who have lost loved ones and their homes in this tragedy.”

We are working with local emergency management, church partners, and local leaders as we assess needs in and around the town of Lahaina.

Tragically, the historic village, home to more than 13,000 people, was leveled and scores have died from the blaze. Many residents fled for the ocean as the fires spread. Lieutenant Governor Sylvia Luke declared a state of emergency for the Islands and the Hawaii National Guard has been mobilised.

As the fires were once again brought under control Wednesday night, residents were left mourning the loss of loved ones and of homes and businesses.

Please pray for our teams as they work with our partners on the ground to provide relief in this time of great suffering. This is our second deployment to Hawaii in recent years; in 2018 we responded in the aftermath of catastrophic flooding on Kauai.

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