Climate ChangeCondolenceDisasterNorth America

The death toll rises to 80 in Maui wildfires as survivors begin returning to communities in ruins

LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP) — Survivors witnessed a surreal landscape of flattened homes, blackened hulks of burned-out cars and ashy lots where buildings once stood as they took stock of their shattered lives in the aftermath of a fast-paced wildfire on the Hawaii island of Maui that authorities say killed at least 80 people.

Anthony Garcia assessed the devastation as he stood under Lahaina’s iconic banyan tree, now charred, and swept twisted branches into neat piles next to another heap filled with dead animals: cats, roosters and other birds killed by the smoke and flames. Somehow it made sense in a world turned upside-down.

“If I don’t do something, I’ll go nuts,” said Garcia, who lost everything he owned. “I’m losing my faith in God.”Garcia and other residents were faced with catastrophic destruction resulting from the wildfires that tore through parts of Maui this week and were still not fully contained Friday night

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