Maui death toll officially climbs to 99 as authorities expect to find even more bodies

 August 14, 2023

Authorities are searching through hundreds of homes and burned-out vehicles in Lahaina, Maui, and the death toll has climbed to 99 as of Monday, with more bodies likely to be found.

The massive fire that destroyed Lahaina displaced thousands and left many without homes or possessions as the fire moved so quickly that many residents had no time to grab anything from their homes.

So far, many of the bodies that have been found have gone unidentified due to extreme burns that have left the remains little more than ashes.

Maui Police Chief John Pelletier explained, "When we find our family and our friends, the remains that we’re finding is through a fire that melted metal. We have to do rapid DNA to identify them. Every one of these 89 are John and Jane Does. We know we’ve got to go quick, but we’ve got to do it right."

The damage from the fire is estimated at a staggering $6 billion, and it will be a long time before Hawaii and the people who endured this disaster will recover.

So far, this fire is the deadliest in recent American history, surpassing the 2018 Camp Fire that destroyed the town of Paradise in California and killed 85 people.