Just a few weeks after the historic fires that devastate the municipality of Lahaina on the island of Maui, tourists make their grand return to the scene, much to the disapproval of a townspeople.
“Our people didn’t even have time to mourn themselves,” Courtney Lazo told ABC News after the roads reopened to tourists.
“Tourists take pictures of the damage in Lahaina while there are still bodies. They dive into the water while people are pulled from the water. It’s very frustrating and it’s like a slap in the face,” added the person whose family has lived there for 10 generations.
Interstate 30, which provides access to the municipality, can now be accessed daily between 6am and 10pm.
To signal their displeasure, the Lazo family created a banner that read, “Tourists, stay away.”
While residents are frustrated by the early return of tourists, they are also aware of the economic pressures.
“We hear that some of the boats are out of commission. They’re laying off,” confirmed Tapani Faure, general manager of the Maui Ocean Center at the Hawaii Aquarium, visibly moved.
According to the latest figures, more than 100 people have been declared dead on the island of Maui.
“We fully understand the value of tourism. Maui is open. Respectfully, Lahaina is closed,” said Mr. Lahaina.I Lazo.
“Total coffee aficionado. Travel buff. Music ninja. Bacon nerd. Beeraholic.”