By Zachary Fagenson
NASSAU, Bahamas (Reuters) – Bahamian officials said on Wednesday that 2,500 people have been registered as missing in the wake of the devastating Hurricane Dorian, a count they said may include people who have fled to shelters around the islands.
“This list has not yet been checked against government records of who are staying in shelters or who have been evacuated,” National Emergency Management Agency spokesman Carl Smith told a news conference. “The database processing is underway.”
Thousands of people are in shelters on the islands. Officials have confirmed 50 deaths caused by the Sept. 1 storm but have warned that toll is likely to rise substantially.
Dorian slammed into the Bahamas over a week ago as one of the strongest Caribbean hurricanes on record, packing top sustained winds of 185 miles (298 km) per hour.
Smith said more than 5,000 people had evacuated to New Providence, but that they had seen a “significant reduction” in the number of people asking to be evacuated.
Commercial flights to Abaco, one of the hardest-hit areas, will be resuming on Wednesday on a limited basis, officials said.
(Reporting by Zach Fagenson in Nassau and Maria Caspani in New York, writing by Scott Malone, editing by Chris Reese and Steve Orlofsky)