Death toll in Lahaina wildfire rises to 106 as county begins to release identities of victims
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The death toll from the Lahaina wildfire increased to 106 on Tuesday as Maui County began to release the identities of those who perished.
The two people identified on Tuesday evening were:
- Robert Dyckman, 74, of Lahaina;
- and Buddy Jantoc, 79, also of Lahaina.
Meanwhile, in a news conference on Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Josh Green once again acknowledged the unimaginable scale of loss and offered his condolences to a state in mourning. In all, seven additional fatalities were announced on Tuesday.
“We are heartsick that we’ve had such loss,” Green said.
In a major development Wednesday, the White House announced President Biden would visit Maui early next week to meet with survivors, first responders and state and local officials.
On Tuesday, speaking in Wisconsin, said Hawaii would get “whatever” it needs to respond to the disaster. “Whatever you need, you’re gonna get and that’ll get aid into the hands of people who desperately need it. Who have lost their loved ones, who have lost their homes,” he said.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Hawaii,” he added.
One week after a wall of flames tore through Lahaina town, officials say that remains are continuing to be found. The Maui wildfire is now the deadliest in the U.S. in more than a century, and just one third of the hardest-hit areas have been searched by teams with cadaver dogs.
Earlier in the day on HNN’s Sunrise, Green confirmed multiple children are among those who perished in the wildfire. “When the bodies are smaller, we know it’s a child,” Green said.
“Some of the sights are too much to share or to see from just a human perspective.”
Also on Tuesday, Vice President Kamala Harris offered her support to the people of Lahaina and underscored the need for a speedy response to reduce additional suffering.
“We are all praying for the people of Maui,” she said. “Far too many lives lost, lots homes, lost businesses, lost livelihoods.”
While recovery operations ongoing, the state is also grappling with a humanitarian crisis.
Thousands have been displaced and are struggling to get essentials. The Green Administration is working to get them out of evacuation shelters and into hotels and vacation rentals.
At the same time, up to 1,000 people remain unaccounted for.
Federal authorities believe significant issues with communication may still be prohibiting some people from re-connecting with their families, but they’ve acknowledged the death toll will rise.
The Red Cross is assisting in reunification efforts and the county has established a resource center so people can report loved ones missing and provide DNA samples for identification.
A Red Cross spokesperson said the agency has received more than 2,500 calls from people looking for loved ones. About 800 of those cases have been resolved.
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