Hawaii Gov. Josh Green described the impact of the wildfires in Maui as likely the "largest natural disaster in Hawaii's state history," during a news conference Thursday.
"What we've seen today has been catastrophic," he said.
Green said that there will be a big team effort to "bring our state back."
"We are seeing loss of life here. As you know, the number has been rising, and we will continue to see loss of life," the governor said, adding that "many hundreds of homes" have been destroyed.
"That's going to take a great deal of time to recover from. But that's why we come together. We come together to give comfort to people," he said.
More context: Hawaii became a state in 1959, but in 1946 the islands experienced a devastating tsunami that killed 158 people.