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Death toll from Hawaii wildfires spike to 110

The death toll from the devastating wildfires in Hawaii’s Maui Island which first erupted on August 8, has increased to 110, the US state’s Governor Josh Green said.

 “Every day we are a little bit more heartbroken because we do have to report that more of our loved ones have been confirmed lost and deceased,” Xinhua news agency quoted Green as saying at a press conference late Wednesday night.

The Governor added that about 38 per cent of the burned area has been searched, while around 2,200 structures in Maui, 86 per cent of them residential, have either been completely destroyed or damaged.

Maui Police Chief John Pelletier said on Tuesday that he hopes searchers will have covered 85 to 90 per cent of the area by the weekend.

The wildfires, which destroyed the historic town of Lahaina on Maui, is already the deadliest in more than a century in modern US history.

About 2,000 customers remained without electricity in affected areas on the island, said the overnor.

Also on Wednesday, the White House said in a statement that President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will travel to Maui on August 21 “to meet with first responders, survivors, as well as federal, state, and local officials, in the wake of deadly wildfires on the island”.

“I remain committed to delivering everything the people of Hawaii need as they recover from this disaster,” the President said in a tweet.

Meanwhile, the Hawaiian Electric is facing a lawsuit claiming power lines blown over by high winds helped to cause the destructive Lahaina wildfire, though an official cause has not yet been determined.

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