'Hell' in Hawaii seen from the ISS

US Satellite image taken by the International Space Station (ISS) on August 12 shows the Hawaiian island of Maui 4 days after a wildfire broke out on the island.

The town of Lahaina in the photo taken from an altitude of more than 400 km. Photo: NASA

The photo was taken when the orbiting laboratory was located 417 kilometers above the Pacific Ocean, according to Space . As of August 16, the death toll from the fire in Maui has reached more than 100. Not long after confirming this figure, Governor Josh Green expressed grief at the loss of life. The destructive power of the disaster highlights the deadly consequences of human-caused climate change and is clearly visible from space.

In the image taken by the ISS, the coastal town of Lahaina is in the lower left corner. Lahaina was one of the hardest hit areas in the fire, with nearly all of the infrastructure burned down, including memorials like the Waiola church and natural wonders like the 150-year-old banyan tree. .

Other Earth-orbiting instruments have also suffered from tragedy, including NASA's Landsat 8 satellite and Europe's Sentinel-2 Earth observation spacecraft. Both flew over the fire in the Hawaiian Islands on August 8 and provide images of the deadliest event in state history.

While authorities have not yet announced the specific cause of the wildfire, experts are beginning to assess the most likely factors. On August 14, NASA held a press conference to say that abandoned plantations on the island as well as invasive grass may have contributed to the fire. In addition, climate change is also an indispensable cause, according to Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

On August 15, local authorities announced that the fire was 85 percent under control in Lahaina and 100 percent elsewhere. However, according to them, when the fire is 100% controlled, that does not mean it is completely extinguished. Firefighters surrounded the fire with a barrier and it could still be burning inside. When they declared the fire to be extinguished, nothing was left burning. Thousands of Hawaiians were forced to evacuate due to the disaster and more than 1,000 people are still missing.

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