Hawaii death toll hits 99 with 1,300 missing as governor makes haunting prediction about search for bodies in Maui fires | The Sun

THE death toll from the deadly wildfires in Maui has risen to 99 and Governor Josh Green fears it may double in the next week.

About 1,000 people still remain missing as firefighters keep working around the clock to contain what is now officially the deadliest US wildfire in modern history.

Inspectors and cadaver dogs are searching the town of Lahaina, where the fire started on August 8.

"We are prepared for many tragic stories. They will find 10 to 20 people per day, probably, until they finish. And it’s probably going to take 10 days," Green said on Monday.

"It’s impossible to guess, really."

The remains of many of the victims have been burned so badly that families are being asked to give swabs of DNA to help with the identification process.

The Maui County Family Assistance Center was created to help collect the samples.

Green, a doctor, has been helping treat survivors and has been to Lahaina twice but said: "there's nothing to see except full devastation."

"The buildings are almost nonexistent. It was so hot that even metal contorted so that you can't believe what the building was," he said.

"But that's what you see, and obviously there will not be any survivors in the area left. They've either escaped or escaped that night and now as we put up some temporary cell capacity, people are calling each other.

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"Look, 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."

An official missing person list has not been published by authorities but Ellie Erickson, a Maui resident, created an online spreadsheet with about 1,200 names listed as "not located."


Several celebrities have come forward to help the community and plead for more aid.

Fleetwood Mac rocker and Hawaii resident Mick Fleetwood has lived in Maui for nearly 30 years, said it destroyed his restaurant, Fleetwood’s, but he counted himself “lucky”.

Fleetwood was in LA when the fire started but flew back with supplies.

His house was untouched but the town of Lahaina, where Fleetwood’s stood for 11 years, is gutted.

He said yesterday: “Selfishly, I haven’t lost a family member.

"I didn’t lose my house. Yeah, it could have happened, but it didn’t happen.

"I’m really lucky. Now, what the hell can I do? The immediacy is finding people.”

Hollywood star The Rock, 51, who grew up in Hawaii, also appealed for aid, adding: “I’m completely heartbroken over this.”

Aquaman and Game of Thrones star Jason Momoa, 44, born in Hawaii, urged tourists to stay away.

He posted on Instagram: “Maui is not the place to have your vacation right now. DO NOT TRAVEL TO MAUI.

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"Do not convince yourself that your presence is needed on an island that is suffering this deeply.”

Locals have put up signs telling tourists they aren’t wanted.

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