With Hurricane Lane threatening to hit Hawaii any day now, many residents are fleeing the island state to save themselves from being hurt or killed by this looming natural disaster. But there’s also a lot of citizens — especially those in the capital, Honolulu- unable to evacuate, forcing them to seek shelter elsewhere on the island.
The problem with this, according to Buzzfeed News, is that there aren’t enough shelters to protecting over a million residents and hundreds of thousands of tourists from the flooding and high-powered winds that will rock the state of Hawaii. This was revealed by the Mayor of Honolulu, Kirk Caldwell, late last week. The announcement left residents fearful and anxious as to where exactly to seek refuge from Hurricane Lane prior to its arrival.
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Adding to their fears is that the existing shelters aren’t great, as many aren’t made to withstand the vicious weather that Hurricane Lane is threatening to bring on. They won’t be able to handle winds greater than 39 MPH- compared to winds that could reach upwards of 100 MPH. They also have so little in terms of supplies that those heading to a shelter have been advised to bring their own clothes, food, and water. That will ensure that there is enough for all that make it to a shelter.
While this is indeed troubling, this isn’t a surprise for those behind the shelters. In a report made back in January, state emergency officials admitted that there weren’t enough shelters available for citizens and tourists across the state of Hawaii. Despite this, there didn’t seem to be little or any effort made to fix the problem prior to the announcement of Hurricane Lane’s formation. The shelters are so inadequate and so few that officials advise people to use them as an absolute last resort.
As all of this is going on, the hurricane has already wrecked havoc throughout Hawaii. Landslides have already closed down several streets and highways, causing problems already for the state. Meanwhile, the threat of over 30 inches of rain will most likely cause flooding, while dangerous waters will only exacerbate the problem. With everything considered, citizens and tourists in Hawaii are going to try and prepare as much as possible before Hurricane Lane shows its full force.
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