400 Remain Missing in Wake of Maui Wildfires
In the aftermath of the devastating wildfires that ravaged Hawaii’s Maui Island, nearly 400 individuals are still unaccounted for, adding to the grim toll of the catastrophe that has claimed the lives of at least 115 people since erupting on August 8.
This “validated list” of missing persons, meticulously compiled by the FBI, contains 388 names. In a recent development, cell phone data is being harnessed to assist in determining the possible whereabouts of victims when the deadliest wildfire disaster in over a century swept through the island, as reported by CNN, citing information from Maui County authorities.
Police Chief John Pelletier, in a solemn statement, explained the decision to release this list of names: “We’re releasing this list of names because we know that it will help with the investigation. We also know that once those names come out, it can and will cause pain for folks whose loved ones are listed. This is not an easy thing to do, but we want to make sure that we are doing everything we can to make this investigation as complete and thorough as possible.”
The FBI, in coordination with various agencies, has been diligently working to eliminate duplicates among the reported missing individuals, as disclosed by Hawaii Governor Josh Green on Thursday.
The catastrophe unfolded on August 8 when fierce, wind-whipped flames engulfed Maui Island. The historic town of Lahaina was left in ruins, with entire neighborhoods and businesses reduced to ashes, according to CNN reports.
While search and rescue teams, aided by cadaver dogs, have meticulously combed through 100 percent of single-story homes within the disaster-stricken area, their efforts have now expanded to include multi-story residences and commercial properties, as affirmed by Maui County officials earlier in the week.
As the situation unfolds, families and communities continue to grapple with the profound and far-reaching impact of this tragic event.