According to Maui County authorities on the island of the same name, the death toll from forest fires in the US archipelago of Hawaii has risen to 53.
“While the efforts of the fire service continue, Today, 17 new deaths from the active fire in Lahaina were confirmed. This brings the death toll to 53 people.“, read a statement published on the local government’s website.
Minutes earlier, Hawaii Governor Josh Green had warned about it The death toll from the wildfires could surpass that of the archipelago’s worst disaster, the 1960 tsunamiin which 61 people died, according to CNN.
According to local authorities More than 14,000 people have been evacuated from the island of Maui during the day on Wednesday, while another 14,500 are expected to be transferred during the course of Thursday.
Biden declares a state of emergency
The President of the United States Joe Bidensigned them formal disaster declaration in the state of Hawaii to work together in the emergency resulting from the wildfire outbreak that began Tuesday, while his “Number Two,” Kamala Harris, acknowledged the federal mobilization to assist Hawaii authorities and residents and applauded the work. “heroic” of the emergency services.
Drought and strong winds are responsible for the rapid spread of the flames
Thousands of people have lost their homes, thousands more are without electricity, hundreds of local families have been displaced and its historic capital, Lahaina, was reduced to rubble.
The severe drought that has affected the islands in recent months and the strong winds of up to 130 km/h from the Hurricane Dora They caused the flames to spread much faster.
Due to the limited resources to deal with this crisis, the authorities are urging residents and visitors to the area to vacate the area as soon as possible.