As death toll from Maui fire reaches 93, authorities say effort to count the losses is just starting

by Lucas Garcia
fokus keyword Maui wildfire

The death toll from a devastating wildfire in the historic Maui town has reached 93, and authorities warned on Saturday that the process of finding and identifying the deceased is only in its early stages. This makes it the deadliest U.S. wildfire in over 100 years.

John Pelletier, Maui Police Chief, revealed that cadaver dog teams have covered only 3% of the search area, emphasizing that the size of the containment area, at least 5 square miles, is filled with the victims, and that the death toll is expected to rise.

Federal emergency workers have begun surveying the charred remains of the centuries-old town of Lahaina, marking the ruins of homes and finding human remains in a landscape devastated by a fire that was hot enough to melt metal.

Governor Josh Green has labeled this the worst natural disaster Hawaii has ever faced, as at least 2,200 buildings were damaged or destroyed, with an estimated damage close to $6 billion. Recovery efforts will take a substantial amount of time.

Other fires continue to burn on Maui, although no fatalities have been reported from them. The displacement of people has become a significant concern, with as many as 4,500 people in need of shelter.

Identifying the dead remains a difficult task, and those with missing family members are being urged to provide DNA tests to aid in identification.

Retired fire captain Geoff Bogar shared a heart-wrenching story of survival while losing his close friend and pet dog. Such personal tragedies underline the severe impact of the wildfire.

The latest toll has exceeded previous deadly wildfires in U.S. history and has become Hawaii’s deadliest natural disaster in decades.

Factors such as a dry summer, strong winds, and limited firefighting resources contributed to the rapid spread of the fire, with the U.S. Fire Administrator emphasizing the unusual and incredibly fast movement of the flames.

The response and the policies surrounding these types of emergencies will be reviewed to enhance safety in the future, recognizing that weather patterns and natural disasters are changing.

Despite the tragedy, the community has come together to support each other, with efforts including supplies for those who have lost their homes and volunteer work at emergency shelters.

The situation remains a profound reminder of the vulnerability to natural disasters, as well as the resilience and compassion of the community. The outpouring of support is a testament to the “aloha” spirit that still exists among the people of Hawaii, even in the face of unprecedented tragedy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about fokus keyword Maui wildfire

What is the death toll from the Maui wildfire?

The death toll from the devastating wildfire in Maui has reached 93, making it the deadliest U.S. wildfire in over 100 years.

Where did the wildfire occur?

The wildfire razed the historic town of Lahaina on the island of Maui, Hawaii.

How much damage did the wildfire cause?

The wildfire damaged or destroyed at least 2,200 buildings, primarily residential, and the total estimated damage is close to $6 billion.

How are authorities handling the identification of the victims?

Authorities are using cadaver dogs to search the area, but it is a challenging process. Police Chief John Pelletier noted that only 3% of the search area has been covered, and the identification of remains is extremely difficult due to the intense heat of the fire.

What efforts are being made to assist those affected by the wildfire?

Emergency managers are searching for places to house those displaced from their homes, with as many as 4,500 people in need of shelter. Additionally, community members have come together to provide supplies and support, reflecting the resilient “aloha” spirit of the people of Hawaii.

Are there other fires on Maui, and have they caused any fatalities?

Yes, at least two other fires have been burning on Maui in the Kihei area and in the mountainous, inland communities known as Upcountry. A fourth fire broke out in Kaanapali but was extinguished, and no fatalities have been reported from these other fires.

How has the Governor of Hawaii responded to the wildfire?

Governor Josh Green has labeled this the worst natural disaster that Hawaii has ever faced. He has emphasized the need to support those who are living, focus on reuniting people, providing housing and healthcare, and then turning to rebuilding efforts.

What historical significance does this wildfire hold?

This wildfire is not only the deadliest in the U.S. for over a century but also Hawaii’s deadliest natural disaster in decades, surpassing a 1960 tsunami that killed 61 people.

How did the community respond to the disaster?

The community has come together to support each other, forming assembly lines to unload essential supplies, volunteering at emergency shelters, and providing care and compassion to those who have lost everything. The response highlights the strong sense of family, or “ohana,” among the people of Maui.

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KevinR August 13, 2023 - 4:46 pm

Just read about the retired fire captain and his friend. That’s a hard story to take. Makes it all very real how quickly things can turn. Stay strong Maui.

Mark42 August 14, 2023 - 12:17 am

This just shows how unpredictable nature can be! Those poor people losing their homes, and 93 deaths – it’s a tragedy. Isn’t there better technology to fight these fires.

lilac_dreamer August 14, 2023 - 6:08 am

ive been to Lahaina once and its beautiful.. cant belive its all gone now. The community’s response is incredible tho. Theyre a strong bunch and will pull thru.

Tom Henson August 14, 2023 - 10:17 am

Why weren’t the warning sirens used? The article says they didnt sound before fire hit. Seems like a big failure, costin’ lives maybe…


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