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‘The way my jaw dropped’: Tourist criticised for Hawaii vacation post during Maui wildfire crisis

‘The way my jaw dropped,’ one viewer says

Brittany Miller
New York
Wednesday 16 August 2023 09:45 BST
Related: Maui and Big Island evacuated as Hurricane Dora winds fuel blazes

As the death toll from the Hawaii wildfires reaches at least 99 people, one woman decided to showcase her vacation to the island in a now-private video on TikTok.

In the video, user Yvette Mares showed off footage from her Hawaii vacation as an upbeat song called “Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride” played in the background, according to the Daily Dot.

The track clearly contrasted the sombre tone currently associated with the state of Hawaii, as governor Josh Green recently announced that the number of fatalities may continue to increase by 10 to 20 people per day, while officials continue to search for survivors and victims.

Since the video has been posted, Mares has received backlash online for her lack of awareness and poor timing of the TikTok post. Although her account is now private, that has not stopped others from making sure the video didn’t go unnoticed.

Many people stitched the original video to offer their take on the situation. TikTok user Gigi Marie (@gii_marie) made one of these stitches, which has since received more 70,000 views since it was posted on 14 August.

The TikTok stitch began with Mares’ video of herself walking across a field of grass, with palm trees in the backyard and the joyful song from Lilo & Stitch playing in the background, before Gigi popped up on the screen. She appeared stunned at Mares’ video as she mouthed: “What the f***?”

The text across the screen expressed her thoughts more accurately. “Are we really recapping a Hawaiian vacation days after people burned alive, an entire town burned to the ground and people lost everything they owned?!?!” she wrote. Her shock was stressed even more when she captioned the video: “Am I hallucinating right now?!”

Viewers were just as shocked as Gigi in the comments section. “The way people are so out of touch with reality is baffling,” one commenter posted with a crying emoji.

“The way my jaw dropped,” another added. “I just do not understand how sick some people are like we don’t know the extent of casualties yet my god,” another commenter agreed. “The next video is captioned ‘life is meant to be lived,’” a third user pointed out, referencing video footage of Mares at a recent Taylor Swift concert, according to the Daily Dot.

Someone else noted the irony of the upbeat music in the original video: “The music too lmfao like GIRL.”

Meanwhile, many viewers pointed out that Mares wasn’t the only person who’s been insensitive amidst the Hawaii wildfires. “Bro I saw three girls this week on my IG posting about vacationing in Hawaii. Like read the room,” one commenter wrote. “I saw someone else just post their happy Maui vacation from June... like why would you post that now?” a second commenter wrote.

One Hawaii local even expressed about how upset she was over the social media posts. “I grew up in Oahu,” she commented. “I don’t live there anymore and I miss it so much. I’m fuming at what I’m seeing all over TikTok.”

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