‘Will cause pain,’ says Maui police chief, ‘not an easy thing to do’
HOUSTON, United States
Maui County officials released the names of 388 people still missing in the aftermath of the deadly Hawaii wildfires, according to a news release sent out late Thursday.
“We’re releasing this list of names … because we know that it will help with the investigation,” said Police Chief John Pelletier in a video statement. “We also know that once those names come out, it can and will cause pain for folks whose loved ones are listed.”
At least 115 people are confirmed dead from the blazes which broke out on Aug. 8 on both the Big Island and in the town of Lahaina in Maui where thousands of homes and buildings were burned to the ground.
Maui police and the FBI compiled the list saying it was important to have a “validated list that we can know would be a much more accurate account for those that are unaccounted for at this time.”
“The validated list has a criteria,” said Pelletier. “It’s a first and last name and a point of contact of who provided that name. Therefore, the 388, we are asking if you’re on this list, please contact the FBI number provided. If you know the person is safe, please contact the FBI number provided or e-mail.”
Officials are asking anyone with information on those missing to call 808-566-4300 or e-mail any tips to HN-COMMAND-POST@ic.fbi.gov or firstname.lastname@example.org to assist authorities with the investigation.
“We need your help now and each and every day because we are only going to get through this if we’re working together as one,” said Pelletier.
Authorities said that an additional 1,732 individuals who had originally been reported as unaccounted for “have since been found safe and well.”
The Maui wildfires are the deadliest US blazes in more than a century and the worst disaster in Hawaii state history.