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Jason Momoa has issued a firm warning to anybody still thinking about traveling to Maui for a vacation: Just don’t.
The Aquaman star and Native Hawaiian took to Instagram to warn travelers who might be planning to visit the Hawaiian island in the wake of the devastating wildfire that swept through Lahaina this week, killing at least 60 people and causing billions in property damage.
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“Maui is not the place to have your vacation right now,” Momoa wrote. “DO NOT TRAVEL TO MAUI. Do not convince yourself that your presence is needed on an island that is suffering this deeply. Mahalo to everyone who has donated and shown aloha to the community in this time of need.”
Moana star Auli’i Cravalho similarly wrote on Instagram: “DO NOT TRAVEL TO HAWAI’I UNLESS YOU ARE RENDING AID … Your vacation can wait.” And added: “I feel numb and close to tears every time I talk about this. Of all the natural disasters we have faced; earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis and flooding…to say we were under-prepared for this disaster is an understatement.”
Momoa also added some thoughts about the devastation. “It looks like a bomb was dropped right on the town,” he said. “I can’t believe this happened and I’m praying that everyone that’s unaccounted for gets reunited with their ʻohana. This is probably the worst disaster that I’ve lived through so far. As we honor the memories of Lāhaina’s past, let us rebuild and restore this historic town.”
Since the fire broke out Tuesday, thousands of visitors have been evacuated from the island and a temporary shelter was set up at the Hawai‘i Convention Center in Honolulu. According to CNN, the Hawaii State Department of Transportation director said last week that “nonessential inbound travel to Maui is strongly discouraged” and that visitors who are in Maui on nonessential travel are being asked to leave.
Momoa also urged people to donate to the Hawaii Community Foundation Maui County Strong Fund if they want to help the thousands of locals who have been displaced by the tragedy. There are also roughly 1,000 people who are still unaccounted for.
“Families were forced to evacuate on short notice, many escaping with only the clothes on their backs,” he added. “Information on injuries and fatalities is still coming in. Lahaina town is gone. Many other places on Maui were also affected. We continue to send pule (prayers) to this incredible community.”
The fire was fueled by drought and winds from a passing hurricane. Reports say the fire swept down on the town quickly and that locals were given little to no warning. Photos have shown the popular and historically important town largely reduced to ash.
President Joe Biden also approved a disaster declaration for Hawaii on Thursday.
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