Sept. 28 (UPI) -- The death toll in the Bahamas from Hurricane Dorian has risen to 56 with some 600 people still missing, Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said.
The leader provided an update on the recovery of victims from the storm Friday during his speech before the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Original figures indicated up to 2,000 people were missing -- covered in rubble from the storm or swept to sea -- and 50 people dead after Hurricane Dorian.
"We know that there are considerably more lives lost because there are still 600 missing," Minnis said. "Because the rising then receding ocean water swept away young and old with their homes."
The storm made landfall on the Bahamas on Sept. 1 as a Category 5 hurricane and stalled over the island nation for about 24 hours. Dorian reduced much of Grand Abaco and Grand Bahama islands to rubble.
Minnis described Hurricane Dorian as a "generational tragedy."
Earlier this week the prime minister announced the creation of the Ministry of Disaster Preparedness, Management and Reconstruction to oversee recovery efforts in the Bahamas. He designated Abaco, eastern Grand Bahama and other impacted areas as special economic recovery zones, providing tax incentives for three years.
Shelters in New Providence were housing more than 1,600 people displaced by the storm. Minnis said the government plans to provide transitional housing to enable residents to return to the islands.