Hawaii’s governor has warned that dozens more could be dead on the island of Maui following devastating wildfires – which have already claimed the lives of 99 people.
“We are prepared for many tragic stories,” Governor Josh Green told US media on Monday.
“They will find 10 to 20 people per day, probably, until they finish. And it’s probably going to take 10 days. It’s impossible to guess, really.”
Cadaver dogs and dozens of searchers have been sweeping through homes and buildings reduced to ash by the wildfires.
“Right now, they’re going street by street, block by block between cars, and soon they’ll start to enter buildings,” Jeff Hickman, director of public affairs for the Hawaii Department of Defence, told NBC’s Today.
Fires continue to burn on the island, including one wildfire in the centrally located Upcountry area, which is still only 60% contained.
Hot spots in ditches and other hard to reach places have made controlling the fire difficult, according to officials in their latest update.
Firefighters say the Lahaina blaze is now 85% contained, while wildfires in the Pulehu and Kaanapali areas have now been 100% contained.
The town of Lahaina has been the worst hit area, with nearly every building in the town of 13,000 people destroyed.
Hotels are being made available for locals who have been displaced by the fire – while aid workers will also be put up in rooms as the recovery efforts continue.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has started to provide $700 to displaced residents to cover the cost of food, water, first aid and medical supplies, agency administrator Deanne Criswell said Monday.