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- As of Aug. 28, no remains from the wildfires had washed ashore on Lanai.
As of Aug. 27, Maui, Hawaii, police had reported 115 deaths as a result of recent catastrophic wildfires there.
But a recent Instagram post claims more victims have washed ashore on a neighboring island.
"They jumped into the bay — into the harbor area," a man says in a video the post shared Aug. 24. "What they didn’t realize was that the wind was so strong it immediately began to take them out to sea, and it’s not being reported right now in the news but on the neighboring island of Lanai they found 183 bodies washed ashore."
This post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)
It’s true that dozens of people fled the fire by retreating into the Pacific Ocean, enduring the cold water and noxious fumes from the flames. And hundreds of other people are still unaccounted for, according to The New York Times.
But authorities told PolitiFact it’s untrue that bodies washed ashore on Lanai, the island east of Maui.
Matthew West, a petty officer first class with the U.S. Coast Guard, said, "We have not received any reports of bodies washing up on Lanai."
The Maui Police Department told PolitiFact in an email that "to date, no remains have washed ashore on Lanai."
We rate this claim False.
Instagram post, Aug. 24, 2023
NBC News, They fled the Maui wildfires by jumping into the ocean. Then they needed to survive the sea, Aug. 18, 2023
The New York Times, Hawaii Officials Release List of 388 People Missing From Maui Fires, Aug. 25, 2023
Maui Police Department, Identities of Maui Wildfire Disaster Victims, Aug. 27, 2023
Interview with Matthew West, petty officer first class, U.S. Coast GUard, AUg. 28, 2023
Emailed statement from the Maui Police Department, Aug. 28, 2023
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