Hawaii Gov. Josh Green (D) said that children are among the 850 residents who are still reported missing as authorities continue to search for causalities in the aftermath of the Maui wildfires.
In an appearance on CBS’s “Face The Nation,” Green told moderator Margaret Brennan that more than 100 residents were killed in the Lahaina wildfire. Green noted that there is a possibility that many of the children who are missing were at home due to school closures when the fires happened.
Maui Mayor Richard Bissen said Monday that 850 individuals are still missing, noting that this is a decrease from the 2,000 missing individuals who were initially reported. Bissen also said 27 of the 114 confirmed deceased victims have been identified.
“That is possible. And that’s — that’s what we’re sharing here internally, that it’s possible that there will be many children,” Green told Brennan. “This is the largest catastrophe and disaster that’s ever hit Maui, probably that’s ever hit Hawaii outside of wartime events.”
Green also said that children who survived the wildfires will be returning to school later in the week, noting there’s already necessities and resources in place to help families get back on their feet.
“You have to remember this is a very rural part of Hawaii. And that’s one of the challenges. So schools are far apart,” Green added. “We’ve authorized other means of transportation, you know, vans and things to help families get farther distances to school.”
This comes as Maui County officials said a day before that an estimated 2,170 acres of land in Lahaina was burnt, with thousands of structures being damaged or destroyed.
President Biden and first lady Jill Biden traveled Monday to Maui to meet with first responders and tour the damaged island, also announcing the appointment of a federal coordinator to oversee long-term recovery efforts in Maui.
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