The number of people on the official list of missing persons from the Maui fire stood at 385 on Friday, nearly the same as a week earlier.
In a news release, the Maui Police Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation said 245 people on the list of 388 made public the previous week had been located and removed from the list. However, an almost equal number of new names have been added.
The updated total was a surprising departure from what was expected: a day earlier Governor Josh Green had said he expected the number to fall below 100.
“We think the number is down to double digits, so thank goodness,” Green said in a video posted to his X account, formerly known as Twitter.
Authorities said at least 115 people died in the fire that tore through Lahaina in hours on August 8 – the deadliest wildfire in the United States in more than a century. So far, the names of 50 people have been made public and five others have been identified, but their identities have not been released as next of kin have not been contacted. The others have yet to be identified.
Initially, more than 1,000 people were missing because family members, friends or acquaintances reported them as missing. Authorities narrowed that list to 388 names believed to be considered missing and released the list of names last week.
New names have been added to the list of missing from Red Cross, shelters and interested parties who have contacted the FBI, Maui Police Chief John Pelletier said Friday.
He urged family members of missing persons to submit their DNA data to help identify their relatives if they have not already done so.
“If you know a loved one is missing and you are a family member, it is imperative that you get a DNA sample,” Police Chief John Pelletier said in a video posted to Instagram.
Kelleher reported from Lahaina, Hawaii.