The death toll from Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas has risen to 44 after the monster storm battered the Grand Bahama and Abaco Islands for over a day and a half last week, according to the health minister.
The number of people killed in the hurricane, which struck the area as a dangerous Category 5 storm, was raised to 30 late last week.
Officials have warned that the number of deaths likely would increase as crews search devastated areas of the northern Bahamas, especially those cut off by flooding and debris.
Dorian also has been blamed for at least five deaths in the southeastern U.S. and one in Puerto Rico.
Dorian's punishing winds and torrential rain have battered the Grand Bahama and Abaco Islands, which were known for their marinas, golf courses and all-inclusive resorts.
At one point during the hurricane, a Grand Bahama airport was under 6 feet of water.
Major Clarence Ingram, a divisional commander of the Bahamas division for the Salvation Army, told Fox News some buildings were completely underwater.
"There are buildings completely swept away by the wind. It's just incredible, the amount of damage that's happened over there, of course, trees and cars and all the other stuff blown away," Ingram said.
Bahamian officials have said they received a "tremendous" number of calls from people in flooded homes. Desperate callers trying to find loved ones left messages with local radio stations.
The government has since announced a telephone hotline that Bahamians could call to report missing family members.
The United Nations and the International Red Cross quickly started mobilizing to deal with the unfolding humanitarian crisis in the wake of the most powerful hurricane on record ever to hit the Bahamas.
More than 900 members of the Bahamian police and military also responded to help with the hurricane relief, according to the government, which added that "large numbers of security forces" from Great Britain and the United States already were involved in search-and-rescue operations.
Officials said some 120 Jamaican security personnel arrived in the Bahamas on Saturday evening and 100 troops from Trinidad and Tobago were expected to arrive Sunday to offer assistance.
A government-chartered ferry transported about 250 people displaced by Dorian to Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas, arriving on Saturday after a 13-hour trip. They joined hundreds of other people from the Grand Bahama and Abaco Islands who escaped harsh conditions.
Meantime, the National Emergency Management Agency said in a statement on Sunday that no flights were allowed to charge for evacuations of displaced people and that consumer protection officials were investigating "incidences of price gouging."
Civil aviation officials also said they were making sure only approved aircraft providing aid could fly to the hardest-hit islands and were restricting air space over those devastated areas to prevent accidents.
Officials already have approved 200 private planes and said that "saturated airspace was creating a volatile situation."
Fox News’ Travis Fedschun and The Associated Press contributed to this report.