The number of people confirmed to have been killed by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas has reached 50, with thousands still unaccounted for.
Health Minister Duane Sands confirmed the latest death count to NBC News: that 42 bodies have been found in Abaco and the other eight were reportedly recovered on Grand Bahama.
Sands told ABC News that it’s possible some victims were washed out to sea or buried in the rubble and may never be found.
The United Nations estimates that some 76,000 people have been left homeless and in need of assistance following the storm.
“The situation is pretty dire here,” college student Kristoff Strachan on Grand Bahama told MSNBC by phone over the weekend. “It’s just a lot of people trying to get out.”
Rescue workers were going door to door and U.S. Coast Guard helicopters were evacuating critically injured residents.
A Bahamas cruise ship ferried more than 1,100 Bahamians to the United States, and Customs and Border Protection delivered food and water by helicopter. The U.S. president on Monday dismissed the idea of allowing Bahamians into the U.S. after the storm, not long after the acting CBP chief said it was worth considering.
On Great Abaco, the storm’s devastation was evident in wrecked boats, flattened homes and downed power lines.
The slow-moving Category 5 storm had 185 mph maximum sustained winds, gusts that topped 200 mph and a storm surge that reached nearly two-dozen feet.
The most powerful hurricane on record to strike the Bahamas, Dorian made a direct hit on the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama.
Courtesy: Daily Beast / ABC News