Death toll reaches 101 in Maui wildfires; recovery efforts on

Washington: The blaze that burned through the town of Lahaina on Maui last week has killed at least 101 people, Hawaii’s governor said even as recovery efforts continued. The fire is the deadliest in the US in the past century. It has surpassed the toll of the 2018 Camp Fire in Northern California, which left 85 dead.

A mobile morgue unit arrived this week to help Hawaii officials working painstakingly to identify the 99 people confirmed killed in wildfires that ravaged Maui, and officials expected to release the first list of names even as teams intensified the search for more dead in neighborhoods reduced to ash.

A week after a blaze tore through historic Lahaina, many survivors started moving into hundreds of hotel rooms set aside for displaced locals, while donations of food, ice, water and other essentials poured in.

Crews using cadaver dogs have scoured about 32% of the area, the County of Maui said in a statement. Governor Josh Green asked for patience as authorities became overwhelmed with requests to visit the burn area. Just three bodies have been identified, and officials expected to start releasing names soon, according to Maui Police Chief John Pelletier.

The blaze that swept into centuries-old Lahaina last week destroyed nearly every building in the town of 13,000. That fire has been 85% contained, according to the county. Another blaze known as the Upcountry fire was 60% contained.

More than 3,000 people have registered for federal assistance, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and that number was expected to grow.

FEMA was providing $700 to displaced residents to cover the cost of food, water, first aid and medical supplies, in addition to qualifying coverage for the loss of homes and personal property. The Biden administration was seeking $12 billion more for the government’s disaster relief fund as part of its supplemental funding request to Congress.

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