• They will find 10 to 20 people per day, says governor.
  • Now, there’s nothing to see except devastation, he says.
  • Governor earlier said that 80% of town was burnt. 


 

After the apocalyptic wildfire in Lahaina that burnt down hotels, buildings, and cars killing at least 99 people so far, Hawaii’s governor Josh Green feared 10 to 20 bodies to be found per day in the coming 10 days — which could double or triple the death toll — as personnel continued to look for the deceased Monday.

The deadly blaze on the island of Maui has been regarded as one of the deadliest wildfires in the US in a century.

As emergency personnel continued their search, the governor told CBS News in an interview Monday: “They will find 10 to 20 people per day probably until they finish. And it’s probably going to take 10 days. It’s impossible to guess, really.”

In the aftermath of the wildfire in Maui’s Lahaina town, the governor earlier said that 80% of it was burnt into ashes since the blaze started last week and spread quickly. According to the residents, there was no prior warning.

Police tape surrounds the site of a home destroyed by the Maui wildfires in Kula, Hawaii on August 13, 2023. — AFP
Police tape surrounds the site of a home destroyed by the Maui wildfires in Kula, Hawaii on August 13, 2023. — AFP

According to Green, the restoration of cellular communication has allowed people to reconnect which brought down the number of missing people from 2,000 to 1,300.

In Lahaina, more than 2,700 buildings were damaged or destroyed as the fire tore through the town, estimates suggest, wreaking $5.5 billion in damage.

Hundreds of hotel rooms are being made available for free to victims, with long-term rehousing options using Airbnb vacation homes also being explored, said Green.

“Our hearts will break beyond repair, perhaps, if that means that many more dead. None of us think that, but we are prepared for many tragic stories,” he said.

The town — where Hawaii’s royal family lived in the early 19th century — was hosting around 12,000 people alongside a bustling tourist street packed with shops and restaurants.

Burned houses and buildings are pictured in the aftermath of a wildfire, is seen in Lahaina, western Maui, Hawaii on August 12, 2023. — AFP
Burned houses and buildings are pictured in the aftermath of a wildfire, is seen in Lahaina, western Maui, Hawaii on August 12, 2023. — AFP

“Now, there’s nothing to see except full devastation,” said Green.

The intensity of the fire and scale of the destruction has made identification of human remains difficult.

Police are encouraging those with missing relatives to give DNA samples that might speed up the process.

“The remains we’re finding are from a fire that melted metal,” said Maui Police Chief John Pelletier, adding that “when we pick up the remains… they fall apart.”

Lawsuit filed

The Maui wildfire is the deadliest since 1918 in the US when 453 lives were lost in Minnesota and Wisconsin, a nonprofit research group the National Fire Protection Association indicated.

People have started questioning about early warning system and the preparedness of the authorities for such natural disasters.

A burnt out car lies in the driveway of charred apartment complex in the aftermath of a wildfire in Lahaina, western Maui, Hawaii on August 12, 2023. — AFP
A burnt out car lies in the driveway of charred apartment complex in the aftermath of a wildfire in Lahaina, western Maui, Hawaii on August 12, 2023. — AFP

A class-action lawsuit has been filed against Hawaiian Electric, the state’s biggest power firm, claiming the company “inexcusably kept their power lines energised during forecasted high fire danger conditions.”

“By failing to shut off the power during these dangerous fire conditions, Defendants caused loss of life” and extensive damage, alleges the lawsuit, according to AFP.

Hawaiian Electric said in a statement that the cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

Maui suffered numerous power outages during the crisis, preventing many residents from receiving emergency alerts on their cell phones.

No sirens were sounded and many Lahaina residents spoke of learning about the blaze from neighbours running down the street or seeing it for themselves.

Load More Related Articles
Load More By RelationsTimes
Load More In Information

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

Showbiz stars greet fans, share pictures of their Eid outfits

The process of exchanging greetings continues as Eid ul Fitr is being celebrated across th…