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    2,500 reported missing since hurricane Dorian hit Bahamas

    NASSAU, Bahamas — About 2,500 people have been reported missing since Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas, but the names have yet to be checked against those who sought shelter or evacuated, the government said Wednesday.

    The number of confirmed dead from the storm remained at 50, a figure that government officials said was certain to rise. The Bahamas Defense Forces began posting pictures on social media this week of soldiers in hazardous-material suits collecting muddied corpses and placing them in pickup trucks.

    Hurricane Dorian toppled thousands of homes on the Abacos Islands last week and flooded more on Grand Bahama, leaving both nearly uninhabitable.

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    The government’s efforts to count the missing have been hampered by the many directions in which people fled.

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    Some 2,048 people are in government-run shelters in Nassau. At least 4,000 Bahamians had left the islands and had reached the United States by Monday, US immigration authorities said.

    A database with the names of the missing, those sheltered, and those who evacuated is being built to make for more effective cross-checking, said Carl Smith, a spokesman for the Bahamian National Emergency Management Agency.

    “As we are able to cross-reference our data sets, we will be able to inform family members and reunite survivors with loved ones,” Smith said. “At the shelters, we are facilitating individuals who are able to reach out directly to family and friends to let them know where they are.”

    It was unclear whether the list of missing included reports from people in the United States who had simply not heard from their relatives on the islands.