The count of individuals confirmed to have lost their lives in the tragic wildfire that devastated a Hawaiian town has risen to 106, as reported by authorities on Tuesday. In response to the magnitude of the tragedy, a makeshift morgue has been expanded to accommodate the grim situation.
Josh Green, the governor of the state, has consistently cautioned that the final tally resulting from the inferno that engulfed Lahaina last week, marking it as the most fatal wildfire in the United States in over a hundred years, is likely to see a substantial increase. He has urged the Hawaiian population to brace themselves for a figure that could potentially be two to three times higher than the current count.
On Tuesday, officials of Maui County revised the death toll to 106. Governor Green had previously mentioned that search efforts, aided by specially trained dogs capable of detecting human remains, had covered more than a quarter of the area ravaged by the disaster.
In a notable observation by an AFP journalist, refrigerated containers were being repurposed as temporary morgues at the Maui Police Forensic Facility. This adaptation reflects the challenging situation the predominantly rural island is grappling with, given the overwhelming number of deceased individuals.
Amid concerns within the local community about opportunistic land acquisitions in the aftermath of the devastating destruction in Lahaina, Governor Green issued a warning. He cautioned against any potential attempts to exploit the ruins for personal gain, as there are fears that affluent developers might seize the opportunity to purchase land parcels for the development of luxury residences or more lucrative short-term rentals.
Governor Green underlined the importance of maintaining a lasting commitment to the community as they embark on the journey of rebuilding. He stated, “Our objective is to ensure an enduring local dedication to this community as we work towards its reconstruction. Consequently, we will take all necessary measures to prevent external parties from gaining control of this land.”