Maui fire death toll tops 100


The death toll from a devastating wildfire that devastated a historic Maui town last week has surpassed 100 as search teams continue to comb through the ashes to find more victims.

The Maui Police Department said the official The number of confirmed deaths reached 106 As of Tuesday evening, an increase from the last confirmed number of 99 deaths. According to Hawaii Gov. Josh Green (D), the death toll is expected to rise by 10 to 20 victims a day as search efforts continue.

Police said they have identified five of the victims so far. Lahaina residents Robert Dyckman, 74, and Buddy Jantoc, 79, are confirmed to have been two of the five identified. Police said they will release the names of the other three victims after their families are notified. Maui County asked family members to assist in the identification process by providing DNA samples.

The fire that devastated the western Maui town of Lahaina on August 8 has officially become the deadliest wildfire in the United States in over a century. The fire was driven by the strong winds from a southern hurricane and exacerbated by the drought experienced by the Hawaiian Islands. The panicked residents had to decide in a split second how to escape.

Green said Monday that search efforts will take time as rescuers are careful not to destroy homes in Lahaina. More than just a tourist spot, the centuries-old city was once the capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom for local Hawaiians.

“People who went to Lahaina because they really wanted to see it should be aware that they are most likely walking on ‘iwi.'” said the governorusing the Hawaiian word for “bone”.

The Lahaina fire destroyed at least 2,200 buildings and burned over 2,100 acres. According to the county, the fire was 85% contained as of Tuesday night.

In addition to the Lahaina fire, two other fires broke out on Maui last week: one in the upcountry and one in Kihei. The inland fire was 75% contained as of Tuesday night and is estimated to have destroyed nearly 700 acres. According to the county, the fire in Kihei is 100% contained. No deaths from these fires have been reported.

President Joe Biden signed a disaster declaration for Hawaii on Thursday nearly 500 federal nationals to Maui. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has dispatched over 140 search and rescue team members to assist local personnel in finding additional victims.

On Wednesday, the White House announced that Biden and the First Lady will travel to Maui on August 21 “to meet with first responders, survivors, and federal, state, and local officials.” The president said earlier this week he wanted to ensure a visit to the island would not disrupt ongoing recovery efforts.

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