These efforts include the deployment of SpaceX’s Starlink satellite terminals to assist in restoring internet connectivity to the distressed community.
Later, a post shared on X (formerly known as Twitter) on Starlink’s official account also confirmed that more than 650 satellite internet kits had been shipped to over 40 organizations currently assisting with the island’s rebuilding efforts.
”The Starlink team covered expedited shipping and distribution costs for all kits delivered to recovery efforts in Maui, donated ~35% of the hardware costs, and we are working with local retailers to make Starlink available below cost. More to come as needed!”, another tweet read.
Social media images appear to show Starlink kits being installed on the island to provide free internet to those affected by the disaster in Maui, Hawaii.
Starlink provides internet access via a network of low-Earth orbit satellites and its kits include pre-connected equipment for simple installation.
In a Facebook post on August 15, 2023, Red Lightning Disaster Relief, the non-profit organization focusing on disaster aid response which is helping with recovery efforts in Hawaii, announced it has also bought 20 Starlink systems and had begun setting them up.
“On assessment, one of the major needs is communication in many areas. Many power lines are down and connectivity is hard to find,” the non-profit organization noted in a post.
The wildfires started on August 8, 2023, and have already killed at least 111 people, including children, primarily in the town of Lahaina on Maui’s west coast. According to Hawaiian officials, much of the burn zone still needs to be searched, as over 1,300 people are currently missing.