The death toll from the devastating c that swept through the island of Maui last week has risen to 96, as rescue teams continue to search for bodies and survivors.
According to the Maui Police Department, three more bodies were recovered on Wednesday night, bringing the total number of fatalities to 96. The police chief, John Pelletier, said that only 3% of the disaster area has been searched with cadaver dogs and that the death toll is likely to increase as more areas are accessed.
The wildfires, which broke out on August 8, were fueled by strong winds and dry conditions caused by a distant hurricane. They burned through more than 2,000 acres of land and damaged or destroyed more than 2,200 structures, mostly homes.
The fires also devastated the historic town of Lahaina, which dates back to the 1700s and is a popular tourist destination. Many residents said they received no warning that a fire was approaching their neighborhoods and that they had to flee for their lives with little or no time to gather their belongings or pets.
Some also said that they did not hear any sirens or receive any emergency alerts on their phones or radios until it was too late.