Hawaii fires: Authorities release list of 388 missing

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drama The deadliest fires in a century in the United States have already killed at least 115 people on the island of Maui

Fires in Hawaii&iuml ; : Authorities release list of 388 people missing

The August 22 fire destroyed the town of Lahaina, Hawaii — Jae C. Hong/AP/SIPA

Authorities of the American Archipelago of Hawaiiï have published a list of 388 people still missing, more than two weeks after the deadliest fires in a century in the United States, which killed at least 115 people on the island of Maui.

The fire has almost razed the tourist town of Lahaina, former capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii, and the number of people we have not heard from is fueling speculation.

From 1,100 to 1,100 388 missing in two days?

With the publication of this official list of names on Thursday evening, the authorities hope to advance the search to determine the true extent of the tragedy.< /p>

“We need your help,” Maui Police Chief John Pelletier in a video message, asking the public to contact the FBI if a name on the list matches; a safe and sound person.

Tuesday evening, the federal police had explained; identify another 1,100 missing. The way this number fell to 388 in the span of two days was not immediately clear.

Asked by AFP, the authorities of Hawaiiï had not yet given of explanation on Friday at midday.

Weeks of searching for bodies

The list includes only individuals for whom a name, first name, and contact of the person with reported their disappearance were provided, specified John Pelletier in his video.

Since the disaster, the local authorities have requested the FBI to intervene to standardize the data of the many lists circulating on social networks or in accommodation centers, which listed thousands of missing persons. Many survivors were thus identified and located.

The authorities, however, expect to what the human toll of the disaster, already very heavy, increases. The search in some charred buildings is proving extremely difficult and will probably take weeks.

A questioned method

The identification of the victims, whose corpses are often unrecognizable and require comparison with family DNA, is also laborious: only 46 bodies – for the vast majority adults of a certain age, but also a 7-year-old child – have been identified so far.

The publication of the official list of missing persons on social networks social issues has given rise to several comments from people claiming that certain names correspond to those of healthy people.

This method had already been used. been employed by the American authorities after the Camp Fire, a large fire which killed 85 people in 2018 in California and after which 1,300 people had initially been killed. missing.