The death toll in the Hawaiian forest fire increased to 67
The American network, CNN, said that the death toll in the wildfires on the island of Maui, in the US state of Hawaii, reached 67, after search teams combed the ruins of the Lahaina resort, while officials in Hawaii sought to determine how the flames spread so quickly through the historic resort with little warning. .
And the fires became the deadliest natural disaster in the history of the state after it overtook the tsunami that killed 61 people on the Big Island of Hawaii in 1960 after Hawaii joined the United States.
Officials said that search teams using dogs trained to search for bodies may find more victims of fires that destroyed 1,000 buildings and displaced thousands, which is likely to require many years and billions of dollars to rebuild.
Three days after the disaster, it is not yet clear if some residents received any warnings before their homes were engulfed in flames.
The island contains sirens to warn of natural disasters and other threats, but it appears that they did not sound during the fire.
And Hawaii Governor Josh Green said: “I directed a comprehensive review this morning so that we know exactly what happened and when it happened,” referring to the sirens.
Scientists say climate change is increasing the frequency and severity of such extreme weather events.
US President Joe Biden declared Hawaii a natural disaster area, releasing federal aid to the island of Maui with the aim of financing relief, immediate shelter and reconstruction efforts, and thousands of residents and tourists were evacuated from the stricken areas of the archipelago.
The state governor, Josh Green, confirmed that the death toll may exceed sixty, explaining that the tourist town of Lahaina was destroyed by eighty%, and that what happened was “the worst natural disaster in the history of the state of Hawaii.”
According to Dr. Thomas Smith, assistant professor of environmental geography at the London School of Economics and Political Science, “the fires are not unusual in Hawaii, except that this time they extend over a larger area than usual, and the extension of the fire is rapid and the flames are high.”