King Charles III wrote a letter to US President Joe Biden saying he and Queen Camilla were “deeply shocked” to hear about the “catastrophic” wildfires in Hawaii.
The monarch and his wife offered their “deepest condolences” to the families of those who died in the fires on the island of Maui.
At least 93 people have been confirmed to have died, with the number expected to rise as rescue efforts continue to search for victims.
The King’s letter said: “My wife and I were deeply shocked to learn of the catastrophic wildfires currently burning in Maui, Hawaii.
“We can only begin to imagine the extent of the devastation that has engulfed the island and the heartbreaking agony of those whose livelihoods have been so catastrophically affected.
“As inadequate as it may be, we both wanted to offer our deepest condolences to the families of those who have tragically lost their lives, and our prayers go out to all of those whose loved ones are missing and whose homes have been destroyed.”
“As the recovery effort continues, my special thoughts are with the extraordinarily brave emergency responders and the residents of Maui who are providing their support and assistance.”
The fires, which broke out Tuesday (August 8), are being fueled by a dry summer and strong winds from a passing hurricane.
They are the deadliest the US has seen since the 2018 California campfire that killed at least 85 people and devastated the town of Paradise.
On Sunday (August 13) the governor of Hawaii stated MSNBC that the state’s drought conditions due to climate change and difficulties in water management were combined with 60 mph winds from Hurricane Dora, which had just passed the island.
He warned, “This is what a fire hurricane will look like.” [like] in the age of global warming.”
Last week, in response to the wildfires, Biden issued a disaster declaration that allowed the state to use federal funds for recovery efforts.
Federal assistance includes grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property damage, and other programs for individuals and business owners.
Funding is available to eligible local governments, as well as the state and certain private non-profit organizations for debris removal and emergency preparedness activities.