Jason Momoa tells tourists ‘Do not travel to Maui’ as deadly fires devastate island

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Jason Momoa is delivering a stern message to tourists who plan to visit Maui during the deadliest wildfire in modern U.S. history.

The Hawaii-native, who has been using social media to help with rescue and fundraising efforts, posted his warning on Instagram Aug. 11. 

“Maui is not the place to have your vacation right now,” the 44-year-old actor wrote. “DO NOT TRAVEL TO MAUI.”

He continued, “Do not convince yourself that your presence is needed on an island that is suffering this deeply.”

He thanked everyone who has been sending donations and love to the community as it is being devastated by raging fires. 

The “Aquaman” star has been frequently sharing photos and videos of the impact, particularly in the historic town of Lahaina.

“Although seen as Maui’s Waikīkī, Lāhaina has rich cultural significance stemming back all the way to traditional times,” he captioned a post also uploaded Aug. 11 that explained the town’s important history. 

Momoa wrote, “It looks like a bomb was dropped right on the town. I can’t believe this happened and I’m praying that everyone that’s unaccounted for gets reunited with their ʻohana. This is probably the worst disaster that I’ve lived through so far.”

He asked for fans to honor the memories of Lahaina while the town is hopefully rebuilt and restored. 

NBC’s Miguel Almaguer said on TODAY Aug. 10 that approximately 300 homes, businesses and landmarks in Lahaina have been burned to the ground. 

According to BBC News, Momoa also shared a video saying that the Hawaiian community “needs time to heal, grieve and restore.” 

“That means the less visitors on the island taking up critical resources that have become extremely limited the better,” he explained. 

Dwayne Johnson spoke out about the tragedy, too. 

“Heartbroken but our faith and mana is strong,” he wrote on Instagram on Aug. 13. “First responders, health care teams, hotels, locals businesses, boots on the ground organizations and all our local heroes, stay strong — we love you and appreciate you.” 

Johnson added, “Resilience resolve is our DNA. Our ancestors are in our blood.”

According to the National Weather Service, the wildfires began to engulf the island after being fanned by high winds from Hurricane Dora. At least 96 people have died, officials confirmed Monday.

The Maui Police Department asked for patience as authorities attempt to recover and identify remains. 

Displaced residents have been speaking out about surviving the wildfires and seeing the devastation in person. 

Dustin Kaleiopu appeared on TODAY Aug. 10 and shared his experience of evacuating his family to the other side of Maui as the flames moved near their home. 

“You could hear the explosions happening around the block from the gas station and from businesses,” he said. “By 4:30, our neighbor’s yard was on fire and we had minutes to escape because an hour later we would find out that our house had burned completely to the ground.”

He said that his town had been dissolved into ashes in just 36 hours. 

“The two houses that I grew up in, my grandparents’ homes, my house, where my brother lives, my mother, my father, every single person that I work with, the people that I see at the bank, the grocery store — everyone I know is now homeless,” Kaleiopu said. 

Others, like Mike Cicchino and his wife Andreza, had to dive into the Pacific Ocean for safety. 

The couple spoke to NBC News correspondent Dana Griffin on TODAY Aug. 11 about fleeing the flames. 

“The current was pulling us out,” Mike Cicchino recalled. “You can’t see anything. At one point, we have fire on us, and we don’t know where land is.”

He said the couple was able to swim back to the beach and heard their neighbors begging for help. 

“And I helped as many people as I possibly could. But I couldn’t go any further because there’s too much heat,” he explained. 

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