Hawaii officials have stated that only about a third of the area engulfed by the fire in Maui jungle has been searched, which is the deadliest American forest fire in over a century, and the death toll could still rise significantly over time.
Hawaii’s Governor Josh Green informed CNN on Monday that the confirmed death toll from the forest fire is at least 99 people, and this number could double in the next 10 days.
The Governor described the fire in some parts of the island last week as “a tragedy beyond tragedies.”
Officials from Maui County said on Tuesday that they have identified the remains of four of the deceased and after notifying their relatives, authorities will release the names.
Jonathan Green, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, stated on Tuesday that a portable morgue unit has been deployed to Hawaii and will assist officials in identifying and processing remains using tools such as examination tables, X-ray units, and laboratory equipment.
The county stated that by Tuesday morning, officials had covered approximately 32% of the search area. Maui’s Police Chief, John Pelletier, said in a press conference on Monday that he hopes searchers have covered between 85% to 90% of the area by the end of the week.