HomeViralJeff Bezos, Lauren Sanchez Pledge $100M For Maui Wildfire Relief
Jeff Bezos, Lauren Sanchez Pledge $100M For Maui Wildfire Relief
August 12, 2023
Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos and his fiancée Lauren Sánchez have stepped forward to make a significant contribution towards aiding the wildfire relief efforts on the beautiful island of Maui.
The power couple has pledged a staggering $100 million to support the ongoing battle against the devastating wildfires that have wreaked havoc across the region.
Officials estimate that about 1,000 persons are missing and a death toll of about 80, as the emergency made it “impossible” to warn the inhabitants of the island.
Keep on reading to learn more.
Jeff Bezos & Lauren Sanchez Pledge $100m For Maui Relief
Bezos and his partner Sanchez have pledged to aid in the relief efforts and return to normalcy for the Hawaii island after it was ravaged by a storming wildfire.
Sanchez took to her Instagram page to reveal that they were “heartbroken by what’s happening in Maui” and that they plan to donate $100 million towards relief efforts on the island.
“We are thinking of all the families that have lost so much and a community that has been left devastated. The immediate needs are important, and so is the longer-term rebuilding that will have to happen — even after much of the attention has subsided,” she noted.
Sanchez added, “Jeff and I are creating a Maui Fund and are dedicating $100 million to help Maui get back on its feet now and over the coming year as the continuing needs reveal themselves.”
1000 Persons Reportedly Missing
Amid the ongoing devastation caused by the wildfires in Maui, distressing reports have emerged indicating that an estimated 1,000 people are currently missing, their whereabouts unknown amidst the chaos, per People.
The missing toll of 1000 was given by Maui County Police Chief John Pelletier, however, he did caution that “honestly we don’t know.”
“Doesn’t mean that’s how many that we have that have passed. I’m not saying that number at all,” he added during Thursday’s news conference. “But because we can’t contact them, and because they can’t come into the greater valley as quickly or as much as we’d like, because they’re actually in the shelter until we get some of those basic things set up, we’re not going to have that number.”
Authorities also expressed their frustration at the challenges of providing timely warnings to those in the affected areas, highlighting the difficulty of reaching every individual in the face of rapidly spreading wildfires.
Death Toll Is Expected To Rise
Hawaii’s governor, Gov. Josh Green, issued a solemn warning that the current death toll resulting from the devastating wildfires is expected to rise as rescue and recovery operations continue in areas that were previously inaccessible due to multiple ongoing wildfires, per People.
“We are seeing the loss of life,” Gov. Green said during his Thursday news conference. “We will continue to see the loss of life,” adding that the fires were the “greatest emergency we’ve seen in decades.”
With the scale of destruction becoming increasingly apparent, the challenges faced by emergency services and search teams are immense.
Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen noted that no structure razed in the resort town of Lahaina was left standing as they were all razed down by the wildfire.
“I’m telling you, none of it’s there. It’s all burned to the ground,” Mayor Bissen noted, adding that it was “physically impossible” to alert the emergency management agencies on time.
Hawaii ‘Underestimated’ Wildfire Threat
Recent revelations have brought to light that Hawaii may have underestimated the deadly threat posed by wildfires, according to records. The unfolding devastation caused by the wildfires has prompted scrutiny of the state’s wildfire preparedness measures and response strategies, per CNN.
Hawaii officials conducted a report last year regarding the type of natural disaster that’s most likely to affect the residents, in which tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanic hazards were more pronounced, but the risk of wildfires was tagged “low.”
The news outlet also reported that the island was ill-prepared for eventualities in the case of wildfires because funds to prevent and mitigate them were “inadequate.”
According to the publication, the county’s fire department’s plan was only a “significant oversight” that included “nothing about what can and should be done to prevent fires.”