Hawaii governor says number of missing people after Maui wildfires now at 66

A month after devastating wildfires began raging on the island of Maui, Gov. Josh Green (D-Hawaii) said the number of missing people is potentially down to 66.

“As of today, there have been a total of 115 fatalities,” Green said at a press conference Friday. “Our hearts have broken 115 times. The FBI has reported that 66 of our people are potentially still unaccounted for, based on calls and emails they’ve received.”

He added that additional deaths could be announced in the coming months.

“Some people will hold out hope that their loved ones will be found,” he said, adding that the state will expand mental health services to the residents following the tragedy.

The fires ravaged historic Lahaina Town, the former capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom and a popular tourist destination. Green said the American Red Cross and the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have relocated thousands of people from shelters since mid-August. 

“Since August 16, the American Red Cross, the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency and FEMA have relocated over 7,500 displaced survivors from shelters to a total of 29 hotels and hundreds of Airbnbs,” Green said.

So far, Maui police have released the names of 55 of the dead, according to the Associated Press. Of those, 22 were in their 70s, with another 13 in their 60s. There was one listed victim under the age of 10, AP reported.

President Joe Biden visited Maui late last month alongside first lady Jill Biden. While there, he toured damage, met with local officials and first responders and offered support for the community.

“You’ve shown such absolute incredible courage, and that’s not hyperbole,” Biden said while visiting. “And I want you to know that on behalf of the United States of America and all of the nation, the American people stand with you.”

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