In the wake of devastating wildfires that swept through West Maui, leaving the once serene Lahaina village in ruins and thousands homeless, locals are crying out for help, claiming that all levels of government have abandoned them.
One journalist reporting from the heart of the disaster in Maui is accusing government authorities of severely mishandling the crisis, even going as far as arresting some victims for attempting to return to their homes.
The catastrophic blaze on August 8 claimed the lives of at least 115 people, and there are still hundreds, including a distressing number of children, missing, raising concerns of possible child trafficking amidst the chaos.
While over 3,000 people previously unaccounted for have thankfully been found safe, a list of 385 still-missing individuals has been released to aid the ongoing investigation.
Maui Police Chief John Pelletier acknowledged that releasing this list is painful for many, but it is necessary to ensure a thorough investigation. FBI Special Agent Steven Merrill expressed gratitude for those providing information, allowing them to allocate more resources to find the missing.
However, journalist Nick Sortor paints a far bleaker picture, alleging that West Maui survivors are not receiving the government assistance they desperately need.
Sortor tweeted a series of alarming issues, including the proliferation of police and military checkpoints, crippling economic impacts, a lack of federal aid accessibility, unanswered questions about missing children, fluctuating official figures on missing individuals, and aggressive law enforcement actions against residents trying to return home.
Sortor vows to uncover the truth, gathering a team of locals and journalists to investigate potential government corruption and deception in the aftermath of this Maui tragedy.