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Biden plans to visit Hawaii after deadly wildfires

President Joe Biden did not reveal when he would visit the state, noting he did not want to get in the way of first responders.
President Joe Biden
Posted at 4:01 PM, Aug 15, 2023

President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that he and first lady Jill Biden plan to visit Hawaii to tour the devastation caused by deadly wildfires. 

Biden did not reveal when the pair would visit the island, noting that it's still a very critical time for first responders. 

"I want to be sure we don't disrupt the ongoing recovery efforts," he said on Tuesday.

At least 99 people were killed in the fires, which erupted on Maui on Aug. 8, and searches are still being conducted for the missing. 

Biden said he's committed to getting aid into the hands of those who need it, adding he immediately approved the governor's request for a disaster declaration.

"I've spoken to Governor Josh Green multiple times and reassured him that the state will have everything it needs from the federal government," Biden said. 

99 dead from Maui wildfires; officials struggling to identify remains
Destroyed homes and cars are shown, Sunday, Aug. 13, 2023, in Lahaina.

99 dead from Maui wildfires; officials struggling to identify remains

Officials increased the death toll from Maui's recent wildfires to 99, but identifying human remains is a slow process.

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The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced on Monday that it is now offering two programs to help wildfire survivors. One of the programs is offering shelter and money to cover urgent needs like food, water or medical supplies. Another program provides eligible survivors with a one-time payment of $700 to be used on "life-saving and life-sustaining items."

Green said the state has secured 2,000 housing units for temporary shelter. He expects some will need housing for at least 36 weeks.

"It will probably go on much longer than that, just so people know, but we don't want people to think that they're going to get housed and suddenly be asked to leave," Green said.

How Maui's residents are helping each other through fire hardships
A person hugs another.

How Maui's residents are helping each other through fire hardships

Maui residents are helping each other recover through the mana, or the energy, of the island's people.

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