Hawaii Wildfires: 111 Dead, Around 1,300 Still Missing
"The number of confirmed fatalities is 111, the Maui Police Department reported 8/16. Police reported that 40 percent of the area has been searched".
LAHAINA - As of August 16th, 2023 Maui County has confirmed that 111 people have died as a result of the wildfires, with around 1,300 people still missing and 40% of the area has been searched, according to a statement released on August 17th.
The number of dead is expected to continue rising due to the high number of individuals that are yet to be accounted for, as well as the difficult and slow process of identifying remains that have been found.
The update by the county stated, "The number of confirmed fatalities is 111, the Maui Police Department reported 8/16. Police reported that 40 percent of the area has been searched".
Maui Emergency Management Agency Admin Resigns, Citing Health Reasons:
The administrator for the Maui Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) has resigned "citing health reasons" according to another statement by Maui County.
The update said, "Today Mayor Richard Bissen accepted the resignation of Maui Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Administrator Herman Andaya. Citing health reasons, Andaya submitted his resignation effective immediately".
“Given the gravity of the crisis we are facing, my team and I will be placing someone in this key position as quickly as possible and I look forward to making that announcement soon,” Mayor Bissen said.
Property Tax To Be Waived For Improved Properties Destroyed By Maui Wildfires
Mayor Richard Bissen has also announced that property taxes will be waived for improved properties that have been destroyed by the Maui wildfires.
The statement said, "Mayor Richard Bissen announced Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023, that fiscal year 2023-24 property taxes will be waived for improved properties completely destroyed by the Maui Wildfire Disaster in Upcountry, Kihei and Lahaina".
It added, "This applies only to improved properties that were completely destroyed in Upcountry, Kihei, and Lahaina".
"Improved properties were not vacant land (prior to the disaster) and have a record on mauipropertytax.com under "Improvement Information" or "Commercial Improvement Information.” The properties have either a residential structure or a commercial structure," the statement also said.
"The Department of Finance, which handles property taxes, is compiling a list of improved properties, by address and tax map key, which were completely destroyed by the fires.
If taxes have already been paid, refunds will be issued to the payer by Oct. 31, 2023. In the near future, a process for people not on the initial list for waiver will be announced."