Some have been located ‘alive and well’
As the world absorbs the horror of the Maui wildfire in Hawaii, news filtered through that among the hundreds missing are a number of Portuguese descendants – mainly family members of Portuguese nationals who quit the Azores decades ago ‘for a better life’ in the United States.
Since then, the ministry of foreign affairs in Portugal has confirmed the situation, stressing that it is being monitored, through the Consulate General of Portugal in San Francisco”.
Today, a source said that some of those ‘Luso-descendants’ who were missing have since been located, alive and well – but only some.
“So far, the (US)] government has not yet published the lists of fatalities, but there is knowledge of members of Lusodescendant families who are missing,” the ministry confirmed.
Yesterday, President Marcelo stressed “there is no news of Portuguese nationals” among the fatalities… but that is ignoring the likelihood of ‘non nationals’ who are Portuguese descendants.
As Lusa’s reports today explains, there are around 30 Portuguese nationals registered with the Consulate General of San Francisco residing in Hawaii. The Portuguese community on the island with dual nationality is estimated at around 200. But the community with Portuguese heritage is much larger (an estimated 100,000 people). These are descendants of the migratory wave from the Azores in the late 19th century, and they do not have Portuguese nationality. They have Portuguese blood, but they are American nationals.
And these are among the lists of missing people in these horrific fires.
Today, the death toll has risen to 93, and officials expect this number to rise as searches continue in the devastated areas.
Two of Maui’s three fires are still active, according to latest reports, which add that the identities of the 93 bodies found so far are still largely unverified.
The fires are the largest natural disaster that Hawaii has ever experienced, the State’s governor Josh Green has told CNN.