SHOCKING Maui Fire Video Shows How the Local People Tried to Escape the Burning Ash and Encroaching Flames by Staying Close to the Ocean
- Authorities are expected to announce the identities of more victims on Tuesday
- The intensity of the wildfires has made searches and identification more difficult
- READ MORE: Investors ‘are already calling distraught families offering to buy their scorched land’ while they pick over the ashes of their homes
Hawaii authorities were painstakingly working on Tuesday to identify 99 confirmed victims of the horrific wildfires in Maui amid warnings the death toll is likely to double as search efforts continue.
Officials are expected to announce the identities of several more victims today.
Currently only three people have been formally identified and the work has been hampered because many of the remains are so badly burned.
The grim developments come as more footage emerged of locals’ desperate attempts to flee the wildfires that spiraled out of control a week ago.
A video captured by a resident in Lahaina, the historic town razed by the fires, shows a large group of people clinging to the shoreline as they are engulfed by clouds of ash, embers and smoke.
Denny Yuckert, the man who filmed the video, said the group cowered for several hours, nearly choking on the smoke.
A small number of active-duty U.S. Marines joined the effort to assist Maui’s recovery amid criticism of the response, which residents have branded slow and inadequate.
Crews from Marine Aerial Refueler Squadron 153 flew active-duty service members from Oahu to Maui on Monday to establish a command-and-control element that will coordinate further U.S. military support.
The Hawaii National Guard, U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are already on the ground, but a larger U.S. active duty response needs a formal request from Hawaii to begin operations there. The establishment of a cell could signal a wider Defense Department effort is about to begin.
On Monday, Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said the military wants to help but did not want to rush in personnel without coordination, so as to not create further logistical problems for recovery efforts.
Many who survived have started moving into hundreds of hotel rooms set aside for displaced locals.
Search crews had covered about 25 percent of the search area, Maui Police Chief John Pelletier said on Monday. That is up from only three percent on Saturday.
Governor Josh Green previously said that he expects ’10 to 20′ bodies will recovered daily in an operation that’s expected to last around ten days. Around 1,300 remained missing on Sunday, he said.
The blaze that swept into centuries-old Lahaina last week destroyed nearly every building in the town of 13,000.
Around 86 percent of the roughly 2,200 ruined buildings were residential and the value of wrecked property has been estimated at more than $5 billion.
Source: Daily Mail Online
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