UPDATE - Casualties in Hawaii wildfires reach 93, toll may rise: Governor
‘Largest natural disaster Hawaii has ever experienced,’ says Josh Green
UPDATES DEATH TOLL, ADDS INFORMATION
By Busra Nur Cakmak and Esra Tekin
ISTANBUL (AA) – The death toll from wildfires on Hawaii's Maui island rose to 93 on Sunday, according to local media reports.
Governor Josh Green cautioned that the fatalities “will continue to rise” as teams accompanied by cadaver dogs enter structures that have been consumed by fire, Hawaii News Now (HNN) reported.
Earlier during the day, Green told HNN that determining the additional number of fatalities is challenging.
The Maui wildfires are the "largest natural disaster Hawaii has ever experienced," said Green, adding: "It's been also a natural disaster that's going to take an incredible amount of time to recover from."
The financial burden of the losses caused by the wildfires has reached $6 billion with around 2,200 structures destroyed, said Green.
Maui police chief John Pelletier said that “patience, prayers, and perseverance” are needed considering the scale of the disaster.
Two people have been identified among the 89 dead but only 3% of the worst-hit area has been searched.
He also urged people to provide DNA samples, if they have missing loved ones, for identification.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Deanne Criswell said: “On behalf of President Biden, I just wanted to start by expressing how deeply impacted we know this community is and that our prayers are with everybody that has been impacted by this truly, truly tragic event.”
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