Hawaii wildfires the deadliest natural disaster in the US state’s history as death toll rises

US

Wildfires in Hawaii have killed at least 67 people – the deadliest natural disaster since it became a US state in 1959.

Search teams are continuing to scour the ruins of Lahaina – a town on Maui island – with the help of cadaver dogs.

Governor Josh Green has warned the number of fatalities will continue to rise, with deaths now surpassing the 61 people who died in a 1960 tsunami.

It comes as investigators try to determine what caused the fire to sweep through Lahaina at terrifying speed – decimating the popular resort with little warning.

Emergency sirens are meant to warn of impending danger but failed to trigger before the blaze began.

Survivors have said they didn’t hear any of the alarms and only became aware when they saw flames or heard explosions.

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‘There were no sirens at all’

Officials have also not yet detailed exactly what kind of text, phone or email alerts were sent.

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Fire chiefs have said the fire’s speed made it “nearly impossible” for frontline emergency workers to communicate with officials who would normally issue evacuation orders.

Thousands have been left homeless and about 1,000 buildings destroyed, with before and after images showing the extent of the devastation.

Maui County confirmed on Friday afternoon local time that 12 more victims had been found, taking the total to 67.

“Without a doubt, there will be more fatalities. We do not know, ultimately, how many will have occurred,” Governor Green told media when the total was 59.

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