As wildfires continue to blaze through the Hawaiian Island of Maui, causing historic devastation, survivors are left unable to access crucial supplies, according to local media.

With vehicles destroyed or out of gas, coupled with hazardous conditions and spotty phone service, many Maui residents have been struggling to get much-need aid, including food, water and medications, local news outlet Honolulu Civil Beat reports.

A video shared Sunday on social media shows several residents using an inflatable paddle board to access a boat with supplies. Efforts to distribute necessities to survivors, especially those in the hardest hit areas, have been hindered by a telecommunications blackout as local and state authorities have been overwhelmed by the deadly wildfires.

As of Sunday, at least 93 people have been confirmed dead and more than 1,000 people are still missing in Hawaii as rescue teams search through destruction left by the deadliest wildfire in over a century to hit the United States, according to an update by Maui County.

Volunteers sort out donations for those affected by a wildfire at a parking lot in Lahaina, western Maui, Hawaii on August 12, 2023. The devastating wildfires have killed at least 90 people in Maui County with more than a thousand still missing, officials said.
Yuki IWAMURA / AFP/Getty

Newsweek reached out via email on Sunday to the Hawaii Community Foundation (HCF), which is providing resources and support to those affected by the wildfires. Newsweek also reached out via email to the Hawaii Tourism Authority for comment.

The wildfires started last week and spread across several islands, exacerbated by winds from Hurricane Dora. The fires have especially ravaged the island of Maui, decimating the historic town of Lahaina on August 9. While it’s believed the fires were caused by a mix of hot and dry conditions, the official cause is still unknown. Thousands of people in Maui were forced to evacuate Wednesday morning, with some given only moments to flee as the blazes engulfed their homes and businesses. Some people on the western side of the island jumped into the Pacific Ocean to escape the flames.

Several reports indicated that no warning sirens sounded on Maui before the fires spread into residential areas, giving people minutes to flee as the flames engulfed their homes, business and vehicles. Lahaina, a popular tourist town known for being the original capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom, was particularly impacted by the wildfires. Jarring before and after photos show the scope of the devastation, with a majority of the historic reduced to rubble.

While food, clothes, toiletries and other supplies are being sent to Maui to aid the thousands of people who have been uprooted from their homes, distribution of the donations has been stalled, according to the Honolulu Civil Beat. Many survivors sheltering in Lahaina and other hard-hit areas have no way to drive to donation distribution centers due to road closures and burned-out vehicles, the outlet reports.

Residents are growing increasingly frustrated, telling The New York Times that they are receiving vastly more help from volunteers than from the government. People have been relying on church groups for aid and receiving supplies brought to the island via private boats and planes.

A video shared on X, formerly Twitter, by social media user KanekoaTheGreat shows Maui residents using paddle boards to access much-needed donations from a boat in the Pacific Ocean. The 12-second clip, shows people hauling the supplies away using inflatable boards and jet skis.

“Maui residents secure food and supplies to giant inflatable paddle boards and haul the items to the shore using jet skis,” KanekoaTheGreat posted on Sunday. “The donated essentials will go to the victims of the devastating wildfires that raged through the historic Lahaina town this past week.”

Governor Josh Green, who said that he fears the wildfires will “certainly be the worst natural disaster that Hawaii ever faced,” shared an update Sunday night.

The governor shared update on his X account shortly after 10:30 p.m. ET, where he noted that six shelters are open for people who need a place to stay. He also said the Lahaina Gateway Center will be distributing food, water and other supplies.