(BBC) – Bahamas emergency services have listed 2,500 people as missing after Hurricane Dorian struck the islands last week.
This official count suggests the death toll will be much higher than the current 50, though the number of missing has yet to be checked against those in shelters and should fall.
Tens of thousands of people remain in need of aid.
Dorian equalled the highest winds ever recorded for a hurricane at landfall when it struck the Abaco Islands.
Large areas were devastated on the Abacos and on Grand Bahama.
The list was announced by Carl Smith, a spokesman for the country’s National Emergency Management Agency (Nema), but he expressed caution as a database was still being processed and some of the people already evacuated had yet to register their names.
“At this point there are approximately 2,500 on the Bahamian government register,” Mr Smith said at a press conference.
“This list has not yet been checked against government records of who is staying in shelters or who have been evacuated,” he said.
The number is likely to fall as the cross-checking is carried out.
However, Bahamas officials earlier conceded the final death toll could be “staggering”.