According to statements provided by Elder Mark A. Bragg, General Authority Seventy and president of the North America West Area for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, more than 500 members of the faith have been evacuated as brush fires devastate the island of Maui.
All missionaries have been accounted for on Maui and other islands and humanitarian efforts continue. Stake centers and other meetinghouses are being used to shelter displaced persons. Current reports indicated no damage has occurred to Church property in affected areas, but the damage is still being assessed.
“As an area presidency, we are grateful for the kindness and generosity of the Saints in Maui who have provided food, water, clothing, and shelter for those in the community who have been impacted,” Elder Bragg said.
The wildfire began earlier this week and was exacerbated by hurricane-like winds passing through the area. The death toll currently sits at 36 and power outages continue to affect Maui. The fires have been contained and officials hope the winds will help alleviate the heavy smoke and ash.
On social media, one user posted, “Asking for Prayers for our kids and the people of Maui. The devastating fires have destroyed the town of Lahaina, including the home our son and his family were living in. Our son and his dear wife and family have lost everything. However, they have the most important things of all – their lives! We are so grateful to our Heavenly Father for their safety. They were evacuated to the airport yesterday and are waiting for their flight to come home. Please include them and the many people who have lost their homes and businesses in your prayers. Our son got a job working for Marriott International last March. The kids just started school last week. They were all so happy and enjoying this new adventure. The school burned down, but miraculously it appears that the two LDS churches are still standing! The Marriott properties, along with other hotels seem to have survived, due probably to being further North from Lahina. Thanks for your prayers and thoughts.”
Another wrote shared this video from a chapel being used as a shelter:
More information will be provided as it becomes available.