According to US officials, the number of fatalities from the deadliest US wildfire in more than a century will reach 100 on August 14 as criticism of the government’s insufficient reaction to the disaster that resulted in the significant loss of life continues to mount. Continue reading
Late Saturday, officials raised the death toll to 93, but they also issued a warning that the number was expected to increase as recovery teams using cadaver dogs resumed the gruelling process of combing burned-out homes and vehicles at the Lahaina epicentre.
Early on Wednesday morning, a swiftly spreading fire nearly completely destroyed the ancient coastal village on the Hawaiian island of Maui. According to survivors, no warnings were given. Official estimates indicate that more than 2,200 buildings were damaged or destroyed when the fire tore through Lahaina, causing $5.5 billion in damage and displacing thousands of people.
Death toll from Hawaii fire nears 100 as resentment over the country’s reaction to the deadliest wildfire in a century grows
Hawaii Senator Mazie Hirono responded that she would wait until the findings of an investigation were made public by the state’s attorney general when asked on Sunday why none of the island’s sirens had been activated.
“I’m not going to make any excuses for this tragedy,” Hirono, a Democrat, told CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“We are really focused, as far as I’m concerned, on the need for rescue, and, sadly, the location of more bodies.”
A famous, 150-year-old banyan tree was still standing among the wreckage in Lahaina, a town of more than 12,000 people and the former residence of the Hawaiian royal family, AFP journalists saw.
The National Fire Protection Association, a non-profit research organisation, claims that the wildfire is the worst to occur in the United States since 1918, when 453 people perished in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
The number of fatalities topped that of the Camp Fire in California in 2018, which killed 86 people and almost completely destroyed the little town of Paradise.
Many Lahaina residents have mentioned that they learned about the fire from neighbours fleeing down the street because no emergency sirens were sounding.
Vilma Reed, a 63-year-old local, told AFP that “nobody told us jack” that the mountain behind us had taken fire.
“Remember when we discovered there was a fire? when it was directly across from us.
The State of Hawaii described the risk that wildfires posed to people as being “low” in its disaster management plan from the previous year.
Some of the evacuees’ ire has also been directed towards a roadblock that prevents them from going back to their houses.
Some locals waited for hours in the hopes of being permitted inside to search among the ashes or look for lost loved ones or pets.
Hirono told CNN she understood the displeasure since “we are in a period of shock and loss” when questioned about growing anger at the reaction.
High temperatures have also affected portions of Asia, Europe, the US, Canada, and the UK, with huge fires and floods wreaking havoc. Natural hazards are being exacerbated by human-caused global warming, according to scientists, making them more dangerous and likely to occur.