LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP) — Before-and-after satellite images show in unmistakable and stark contrast the devastation that wildfires brought to the historic Maui community of Lahaina.
Images taken before this week’s fire show streets filled in and bordered by green vegetation. The images taken after the fire show a gray, barren landscape, sometimes with lingering smoke clouds billowing from rubble.
One set of before-and-after images shows the lush area home to a huge banyan tree at the heart of the oceanside community reduced to a landscape of gray and black, the tree’s limbs scorched.
Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen Jr. said it doesn’t resemble the place he knew growing up.
“The closest thing I think I can compare it to is perhaps a war zone, or maybe a bomb went off,” he told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Friday. “It was cars in the street, doors open, melted to the ground. Most structures no longer exist. And from blocks and blocks of this.”
Bissen, who grew up in Maui, said he was familiar with what Lahaina looked like since his mother worked at a restaurant there, the Pioneer Inn, for 17 years.
“It doesn’t resemble anything that it looked like when I was growing up,” he said.
The wildfires on Maui killed at least 55 people.