The death toll in the Bahamas has risen to 30 and is expected to rise dramatically in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian, which pummeled the islands with sustained 180 mph winds for over a day and a half. “It is a horrendous challenge right now and the process of certification and confirmation certainly does not in any way relate to the findings in the field," Bahamian Health Minister Duane Sands told NBC News, and added that the findings suggest the death toll “will rise dramatically.” Emergency officials spread throughout the islands Thursday to track down people who were reported as missing—over 5,500 people have been listed as missing on one website, DorianPeopleSearch.com—and to set up emergency aid centers. United Nations humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock said about 70,000 people “are in immediate need of life-saving assistance” on Grand Bahama and Abaco islands. The UN, U.S. Coast Guard, the British Royal Navy, and more are on the scene to provide help. Dorian has since pushed up the East Coast, now battering the coast of North and South Carolina.
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