J’can consulate keeping eye on deadly Hawaii wildfires
The Jamaican Government, through its consulate in New York, is monitoring the catastrophic wildfires in Hawaii in the United States to see if any Jamaicans have been impacted.
The fires, which started on Tuesday night and have been fuelled by a mix of land and atmospheric conditions, have claimed the lives of at least 55 people. The authorities have reported hundreds more missing.
There are expectations that the death toll will rise when burnt-out buildings are searched.
The Jamaican Consulate in New York has jurisdiction for Hawaii, and Consul General Alsion Wilson told The Gleaner that she remains in contact with the authorities in Maui, the second largest island in the state, as she keeps abreast of the situation.
“So far, we have had no reports of any Jamaican being affected, but it is a heavy tourist area and we may have Jamaicans working in the hotels there, so we are constantly monitoring the situation,” said Wilson.
She added that her office has been getting daily updates from governmental authorities and emergency services.
Yesterday, the authorities said that some six fires were still burning in Maui and Big Island, but officials said the Lāhainā fire was 80 per cent contained.
Hawaii Governor Josh Green said the fires are likely to be the largest natural disaster in the state’s history. A number of historic landmarks have also been destroyed.
Reports are that communication on the island of Maui has also been disrupted, affecting the free flow of information from the affected areas.
A number of Jamaicans are known to live in sections of Hawaii such as Honolulu with some operating businesses on that island.