Death toll in wildfire in Maui in Hawaii has reached 111

Death toll in wildfire in Maui in Hawaii has reached 111


Maui’s death toll has reached 111 as responders continue to look for traces of more than 1,000 people still unaccounted for since last week’s wildfire, officials in Hawaii said, CNN reported.

Maui Police Chief John Pelletier said on Wednesday: “No one has ever seen this who is alive today – not this size, not this number, not this volume. And we’re not done.”

“Realize that the responders that are going out there are recovering their loved ones and members of their families,” he said, as per CNN.

Pelletier said that about 38 per cent of the burn zone had been searched as of Wednesday afternoon, as authorities hope to cover much of it by the weekend.

Hawaii Governor Josh Green said combing the ashes of what used to be homes, businesses and historic landmarks is difficult, and identifying those killed won’t be easy, as remains are largely unrecognizable and fingerprints rarely found.

Complicating matters is uncertainty over how many remain missing after the fires sparked quickly and spread erratically, engulfing thousands of homes on the island. “Probably still over 1,000” people are unaccounted for, Green told CNN on Wednesday. The precise sum is hard to nail down due to telecommunications gaps, authorities have said.

A genetics team will help identify remains, “so that we can make sure that we’re finding who our loved ones are, and that we make the notifications with dignity and honour,” Pelletier said, urging patience. Authorities have asked relatives of the missing to provide DNA samples, with 41 provided through Tuesday, county officials said, as per CNN.

(This news report is published from a syndicated feed. Except for the headline, the content has not been written or edited by OpIndia staff)


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