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At least 36 people have died in fires burning through Hawaii, county reports

The hall of historic Waiola Church in Lahaina and nearby Lahaina Hongwanji Mission are engulfed in flames along Wainee Street on Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2023, in Lahaina, Hawaii.
The hall of historic Waiola Church in Lahaina and nearby Lahaina Hongwanji Mission are engulfed in flames along Wainee Street on Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2023, in Lahaina, Hawaii. Copyright Matthew Thayer/AP
Copyright Matthew Thayer/AP
By Euronews with AP
Published on Updated
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At least 36 people have died in the Lahaina fire in Hawaii, Maui County wrote in a statement posted to the county website Wednesday evening.

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Wildfires, whipped by strong winds from Hurricane Dora passing far to the south, took the island of Maui by surprise, leaving behind burned-out cars on once busy streets and smoking piles of rubble where historic buildings had stood. Flames roared throughout the night, forcing adults and children to dive into the ocean for safety.

Officials said earlier that 271 structures were damaged or destroyed and dozens of people injured.

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