Roughly 1,000 to 1,100 individuals are still unaccounted for in the aftermath of the Maui wildfires, according to island officials.
Recovery efforts are underway in Maui, but county officials revealed on Tuesday that at least 1,000 individuals remain unaccounted for at this point. The good news, however, is that 1,400 more individuals who were previously reported as missing or unaccounted for have since been identified as safe.
According to Maui County’s update:
Both numbers are expected to fluctuate for the foreseeable future as additional reports of unaccounted for individuals are submitted, and for as long the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Maui Police Department (MPD) and other law enforcement agencies continue to work diligently to make contact with individuals who have already been reported unaccounted for.
The county is asking individuals to report anyone unaccounted for to the Maui Police Department (MPD). Individuals are also asked to contact the FBI if they come in contact with an individual who has been reported as missing so that person can be removed from the list.
“If you have already submitted complaints to the Maui Police Department about a missing person, or to the FBI, or anyone else, please follow back up to ensure that they have the most up-to-date and accurate information, including dates of birth, what they look like, who they’re related to, further contact information,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Steven Merrill said in a statement provided in the county’s update.
Watch the August 22 press conference below:
Overall, 115 fatalities have been reported as a result of the fires. Forty-three of those individuals have been identified, but the families of over half of these have not yet been notified.
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MPD on Tuesday released the names of eight wildfire victims whose families had been notified. All but one were from Lahaina.
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County of Maui / Facebook
The update follows President Joe Biden’s visit to Maui, surveying the devastation and callously comparing a small kitchen fire in his home to the devastation in Lahaina.
“I don’t want to compare difficulties, but we have a little sense, Jill and I, what it’s like to lose a home,” he said during a stop at the Lahaina Civic Center.
“To make a long story short, I almost lost my wife, my ‘67 Corvette, and my cat. But all kidding aside, I watched the firefighters, the way they responded…And they ran into flames to save my wife and save my family. Not a joke,” he added.
Original reports detailing Biden’s fire revealed that it was under control in 20 minutes and “contained to the kitchen.”