850 people still missing after Hawaii wildfires


A total of 850 people are still missing following deadly wildfires in Maui, Hawaii, the county’s mayor has said.

In an overnight update, Mayor Richard Bissen said he was “both saddened and relieved about these numbers”.

He said it had been feared more than 2,000 people were missing but that 1,285 people have been found safe.

At least 114 people have been confirmed dead after the wildfires, the deadliest in modern US history, Mr Bissen said.

US President Joe Biden will pause his holiday in Lake Tahoe to fly to Hawaii, following criticism by some Republicans and others for his initial response.

He went days without speaking about the tragedy when it first took place while vacationing at his Delaware beach house.

The White House countered that Mr Biden has been leading a “whole of government” effort to help Hawaii recover.

More on Hawaii

Mr Biden himself said he did not want to travel to Maui until he was assured that he would not interfere with emergency response efforts.

Damage in Lahaina caused by deadly wildfires on the island of Maui in Hawaii
Damage in Lahaina caused by deadly wildfires on the island. Pic: AP

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It comes as the head of the Maui Emergency Management Agency abruptly resigned – a day after saying he had no regrets about not using sirens to warn residents of the wildfires.

Some Maui residents say lives could have been saved had emergency sirens sounded, but the agency opted against using them, saying they would have been ineffective and confusing.

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