“I'm in shock. It makes me wanna cry.”
Each day reveals new horrors from the Maui wildfires that have killed at least one hundred and destroyed much of Lahaina, a former royal capital of Hawaii, which includes a gorgeous old township that has had tourists swooning for two hundred years.
“Along the empty streets of Lahaina, the warped shells of vehicles sit as if frozen in time, some of them still in the middle of the road, pointed toward escapes that were cut short,” reported the New York Times. “Others stand in driveways next to houses that are now piles of ash, many still smoldering with acrid smoke.
“A few agitated myna birds chirp from their perches on palm trees that have been singed into matchsticks, the carcasses of other birds and several cats scattered below them in the streets.
“Across the town that was once home to 13,000 people, residents are slowly returning and sifting through the debris of their homes, some of them in tears, finding little to salvage.”
In an off-the-cuff airport interview with a TMZ citizen reporter, Kelly Slater described a pal riding his bike through Lahaina amid piles of dead bodies (“A lot more people have passed away than they’re talking about…the news hasn’t got a grasp on how bad it is”), another few pals who’ve lost houses, one only able to save his dog and a backpack and the horror of residents trying to escape the flames by jumping in the water only to find it ablaze “because of all the boats burning in the harbour and the fuel on top of the water.”
The Champ, who was en route to a first round loss in Tahiti after chasing the Namibian Rickshaw in West Africa, said he was “in shock…I just wanna cry.”