At least 2,500 people have been reported as missing in the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian devastated the islands, officials announced Wednesday.
Dorian, which was a Category 5 storm when it made landfall on the islands, flattened homes and killed at least 50 people, officials said.
The death toll is expected to increase as search-and-rescue crews sift through the ruins on Abaco and Grand Bahama islands.
Carl Smith of the Bahamas’ National Emergency Management Agency said the list is preliminary, meaning that the names have not been confirmed against government databases or have counted those who have evacuated.
“As we are able to cross-reference our data sets, we will be able to inform family members and reunite survivors with loved ones,” he said.
Smith said that while power has returned to a good portion of Grand Bahama, the power grid around Marsh Harbor in Abaco remains destroyed.
Hurricane Dorian was the strongest hurricane to ever hit the islands.
An additional 70,000 people lost nearly everything they had when the hurricane swept the northern islands, CNN reported.
Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said the government is trying to set up temporary housing for those who lost homes due to the hurricane.
Minnis also announced that he would host a national day of prayer and picked two people to be hurricane response coordinators for the most devastated islands.