Firefighters continue to battle wildfires with 55 killed in Hawaii

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Firefighters on Friday continued to battle the devastating wildfires that have killed at least 55 people in Hawaii's Maui Island, reported Xinhua.

The Maui County said in a press release that firefighters continued working to extinguish flare-ups and contain fires in Lahaina, Pulehu/Kihei and Upcountry Maui on the island.

Two additional fatalities were confirmed Thursday night amid the active Lahaina fire, bringing the death toll to 55 people. Officials warned the death toll could grow even higher.

The firefighting effort was bolstered by 21 firefighters from the Honolulu Fire Department, seven supervisory personnel and four vehicles, said the county, adding that a nine-member search-and-rescue team also arrived on the island.

Twenty-five buses operating a shuttle service on Thursday transported more than 1,200 visitors to Kahului Airport, the main airport of Maui. A total of 14,900 visitors left on flights departing Maui on Thursday, according to the county.

Officials said that six emergency shelters are open on the island. Food, water, supplies and clothing will be distributed to residents on Friday at the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, and a limited supply of baby products will also be given out.

Hawaii Governor Josh Green said it "was likely the largest natural disaster in Hawaii state history" and it's going to take a great deal of time to recover from this.

Deadly wildfires have nearly completely destroyed the historic town of Lahaina, a popular tourist spot and once the capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii.

In a video speech released on Thursday at the scene in Lahaina, Green said that "over a thousand buildings" had likely been destroyed.

U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday approved a major disaster declaration for Hawaii.

  •  Hawaii
  •  Wildfire


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