Disasters & Accidents

Nearly 400 people still missing from Maui wildfires in Hawaii

Washington, Aug 25 (EFE).- Authorities in Hawaii have released a list of 388 people reported unaccounted for after the devastating wildfires that killed at least 115 in the deadliest American disaster in more than a century.

The Maui county authorities published Thursday a “validated list of names of individuals” whose whereabouts remain unknown since Aug.8 when the fires ripped through the Hawaiian island.

“We’re releasing this list of names today because we know that it will help with the investigation,” said Maui police chief John Pelletier.

“We want to make sure that we are doing everything we can to make this investigation as complete and thorough as possible.”

Colonel David Fielder, who is leading the military assistance in the recovery efforts, said he expected the mopping-up operation to take several more weeks.

“About 85 percent, 87 percent (of area is) cleared right now. But the last structures they have to clear are going to be extremely complicated,” Fielder told reporters on Thursday.

He said the recovery team had already started mobilizing equipment to remove some structures and get to the remains.

“The very earliest projection and we’re talking weeks, it’s not going to be days to get through all that,” Fielder said.

The devastating fires that have ravaged, in particular, the town of Lahaina, Maui, are the deadliest in the last 100 years in the United States.

Maui County said it sued energy firm Hawaiian Electric for negligence and failing to switch off power lines despite a red flag warning from the national weather department on Aug.7.

Hawaiian Electric has said it was investigating what happened, insisting that the state had no system to suddenly shut down the power grid because such procedures are controversial.


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