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LATEST: 99% of Lahaina disaster area searched as death toll stands at 115

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Officials say 99% of the impact zone in Lahaina has been searched as the death toll stands at 115.

Meanwhile, Maui Mayor Richard Bissen told HNN’s Sunrise that authorities are preparing for the next phase in recovery operations.

“We are now going to go into the next phase of the EPA there. They’ll be removing all the toxins, toxic material, and hazardous material. We don’t want anybody in there until that happens.”


Here’s the latest from the county:


  • Officials are seeking the public’s help in identifying individuals reported unaccounted for following the Lahaina wildfire disaster.
  • For more info, click here.
  • For those seeking information regarding those who are unaccounted for, the Family Assistance Center (FAC) is located at the Hyatt Regency’s Monarchy Ballroom (200 Nohea Kai Drive, Ka’anapali). It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Maui County emphasizes that DNA samples taken are only for identification of wildfire victims and survivors, and will not be stored or used for any other purposes.
  • Beware of telephone scams: If you receive a call from individuals or organizations claiming to be with “DNA Services” report it to the Maui Police Department at (808)244-6400.


  • Eligible funeral expenses may include the cost of a casket or urn, funeral services and transportation of the deceased and/or up to two family members into the area to identify your loved one, if that is required by state/local authorities. To request funeral assistance, you must first apply to FEMA.
  • For more information, speak to a FEMA specialist at any open Disaster Recovery Center. You can find a Disaster Recovery Center by visiting: or calling the FEMA Helpline at (800)621-3362.


  • As of Monday morning, 8/28, there were 4,725 people in 19 shelter locations.
  • To qualify for hotel shelter, evacuees must register with FEMA.
  • The state Deparmtent of Human Services announced an additional 250 Air BnB units are available to displaced residents or families on Maui for 21-day stays. To pre-register, residents can go to Lahaina Gateway Center, Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


  • Two disaster recovery centers are open at UH Maui College and at the Mayor Hannibal Tavares Community Center to assist Maui residents in applying for federal disaster assistance.
  • Hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • FEMA specialists will be at the disaster recovery center to help residents register for disaster assistance, connect with voluntary organizations and more.
  • An online, centralized hub called Maui Nui Strong designed to respond to the impacts of the Lahaina and Kula wildfire disaster was launched at The County of Maui site offers information on how to donate, volunteer, and look for support.
  • You can also find out additional information through HI-EMA here.
  • For financial aid information involving Section 8 Housing vouchers, disaster loans with SBA, and more, click here.


  • The road to Lahaina is open daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Late-night access from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. is limited to West Maui residents, first responders, and West Maui employees.
  • MPD will cite and tow vehicles parked at the Lahaina Bypass.


  • Here are the county’s points of distribution:
  • Lahaina Gateway Center: Open Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Resource distribution and mobile health vehicle providing first aid, pediatric services, and pharmacy courier services
  • Queen Ka’ahumanu Center: Open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Resource distribution center, and they are accepting non-perishable foods, water, and paper supplies only at theane Street entrance.
  • Feed My Sheep mobile food distribution sites:
  • 150 South Pu’unene Ave. in Kahului from 9:30 a.m. to 12 noon on Saturdays
  • In the parking lot next to Living Way Church, at the corner of Market and Mokuhau streets in Happy Valley from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Fridays
  • The Maui Humane Society will continue to offer donated pet supplies and veterinary services at several distribution sites island-wide. Click here for more info.



  • The state Department of Health is urging caution for residents and business owners who are allowed to return to their properties in the Lahaina area.
  • Dangers include ash that may contain toxic and cancer-causing chemicals including asbestos, arsenic and lead and debris including broken glass, exposed electrical wires, nails, wood, plastics and other objects.
  • Unstable buildings and structures may contain hazardous materials and could collapse and cause injury.
  • For more information about recommendations for personal protective equipment including masks and associated hazards, click here.


  • The Maui Bus “West Maui Express” Route #29 will provide hourly service daily at 5:30 a.m. between Kapalua, the Queen Ka’ahumanu Center and Ka’anapali.
  • A free shuttle bus is available for people who are staying at any of the American Red Cross hotel shelters in West Maui from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.


  • Kaiser Permanente first aid stations are available at the Hyatt Regency Lahaina, Maui Suites, Promenade Lower Level. Open weekdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Maui Health services will also be available at the Hyatt Regency Lahaina through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Kaiser Permanente will relocate its mobile health vehicle from its current location at Lahaina Gateway Center to Napili Park on Aug. 28, and will offer free medical services to Kaiser members and non-members.


  • The state Department of Health is offering crisis mental health services and expanded hours for those experiencing emotional or psychological distress as a result of the Maui fires. For more information, click here.
  • VITAL RECORDS: For individuals impacted by the Maui Wildfires who need replacement vital records, an order may be placed online at The fee for an affected individual’s first copy of a birth or marriage certificate will be waived with a FEMA disaster assistance ID Number and/or a Lahaina residential address.


  • New information boards are now located throughout Maui to provide vital information to residents with limited telecommunications abilities. Click here to see the locations.


  • The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has temporarily waived certain eligibility rules to ensure that people receiving federal disaster assistance due to the Maui fires can easily apply for and enroll in Lifeline, a federal program that helps lower the cost of phone and internet service for those in need. For more information, click here.


  • The DOE will be holding two meetings on Wednesday, Aug. 30 to hear from families and community members about reopening schools. Meeting info:
  • Lahaina: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Citizen Church, 4275 Hine Way
  • Kahului: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Maui Arts & Cultural Center, McCoy Studio Theater, 1 Cameron Way


  • Vacant PO Boxes at Post Offices across Maui will be temporarily made available at no charge to Lahaina residents who lost their homes or their Lahaina Downtown Post Office PO Boxes. Qualifying residents may request their free PO Boxes at any Maui post office.
  • The Wailuku Post Office is no longer receiving or distributing mail for Lahaina residents. Lahaina residents who lost their homes, or live in areas which are currently inaccessible, may pick up their mail from the “dutch door” in the lobby of the Lahaina Main Post Office. Service will be available from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

The latest updates on mail service are available by calling a recording at 808-423-6000.


Full story: HawaiiNewsNow August 28, 2023

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