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Hawaii fires: Fresh evacuations under way in Maui as death toll climbs to 80

Hawaii fires: Fresh evacuations under way in Maui as death toll climbs to 80
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Saturday, 12 August, 2023, 16:36

The death toll from the Maui wildfires rose to 80 on Friday as search teams combed through the smoldering ruins of Lahaina, and Hawaiian officials sought to determine how the inferno spread so rapidly through the historic resort town with little warning.

The fires became the deadliest natural disaster in the state's history, surpassing that of a tsunami that killed 61 people on the Big Island of Hawaii in 1960, a year after Hawaii joined the United States.

Officials have warned that search teams with cadaver dogs could still find more dead from the fire that torched 1,000 buildings and left thousands homeless, likely requiring many years and billions of dollars to rebuild.

"Nobody has entered any of these structures that have burned down and that's where we unfortunately anticipate that the death toll will rise significantly," U.S. Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii told MSNBC.

Hawaii fires: Fresh evacuations under way in Maui as death toll climbs to 80