Friday , September 22 2023

Hawaii fire death toll nears 100 as anger grows over response to deadliest American wildfire in a century

The death toll in Hawaii from the deadliest US wildfire in more than a century will cross the 100-mark on Monday, August 14 according to US officials, as criticism grows towards the government for it’s inadequate official response to the disaster resulting in the heavy loss of life.

 

Officials updated the toll to 93 late Saturday, but warned the figure was likely to rise as recovery crews with cadaver dogs continued the grim task of searching burned out homes and vehicles in the epicenter of Lahaina.

The historic coastal town on the island of Maui was almost completely destroyed by the fast-moving inferno early Wednesday morning, with survivors saying there had been no warnings. More than 2,200 structures were damaged or destroyed as the fire tore through Lahaina, according to official estimates, wreaking $5.5 billion in damage and leaving thousands homeless.

Hawaii fire death toll nears 100 as anger grows over response to deadliest American wildfire in a century

When asked on Sunday why none of the island’s sirens had been activated, Hawaii Senator Mazie Hirono said she would wait for the results of an investigation announced by the state’s attorney general.

“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.”

 

Among the ruins in Lahaina, a town of more than 12,000 and former home of the Hawaiian royal family, an iconic, 150-year-old banyan tree remained standing but severely burned, AFP journalists saw.

The wildfire is the deadliest in the United States since 1918, when 453 people died in Minnesota and Wisconsin, according to the non-profit research group the National Fire Protection Association.

The death toll surpassed 2018’s Camp Fire in California, which virtually wiped the small town of Paradise off the map and killed 86 people.

 

No emergency sirens were sounded, and many Lahaina residents have spoken of learning about the blaze because of neighbors running down the street.

“The mountain behind us caught on fire and nobody told us jack,” resident Vilma Reed, 63, told AFP.

“You know when we found that there was a fire? When it was across the street from us.”

In its emergency management plan last year, the State of Hawaii described the risk wildfires posed to people as being “low”.

Some residents who fled the flames have also expressed anger at a roadblock put up preventing them from returning to their homes.

Some residents waited for hours hoping to be allowed in to comb through the ashes or look for missing pets or loved ones.

When asked about growing anger at the response, Hirono told CNN she understood the frustration because “we are in a period of shock and loss.”

Canada, the US, Europe and parts of Asia have also endured soaring temperatures, with major fires and floods wreaking havoc. Scientists say human-caused global warming is exacerbating natural hazards, making them both more likely and more deadly.

YOUR NEWS WINDOW TO THE WORLD

GISTFOX NEWS

THANK YOU FOR VISITING GISTFOX NEWS

SUBSCRIBE AND GET DAILY NEWS DELIVERED TO YOUR EMAIL DON’T MISS OUT! STAY UP TO DATE

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

About Alex Itoro

Music and movie pundit

Check Also

couple

Viral Couple with 20-Year Age Gap Open Up on Having Child

Promise Karanja, a 22-year-old man dating a woman 20 years her senior, has reassured her …

Leave a Reply

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

Translate »