The United States is prepared to assist the Bahamas with food and medical assistance "in a big way," U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says, as the country recovers from disaster inflicted by Hurricane Dorian.
The official death toll in the Bahamas has risen to 43.
In an interview following his lecture Friday in Manhattan, Pompeo said America's recovery efforts will extend to the region around the Bahamas. Assistance will include communications and transit, Pompeo said, and America will build a global coalition to swing into action and help people.
"We will be there front and center to do our best as quickly as we can, restore as much as we can," Pompeo said. "It is absolutely devastating. The early reports I've seen from our teams that are there is this is really long process and a really long road to recovery, so our mission is to make that as fast and in the interim to do as much as we can to relieve the pain and suffering of the people of the Bahamas."
Search and rescue teams on Saturday were still trying to reach communities isolated by floodwaters from the week-old storm. Dorian slammed the Bahamas with 185 mph winds that obliterated homes and other structures.
An array of organizations, countries and companies have mobilized to send in food, water, generators, roof tarps, diapers, flashlights and other supplies.
"We acknowledge that there are many missing and that the number of deaths is expected to significantly increase," said Prime Minister Hubert Minnis. "This is one of the stark realities we are facing in this hour of darkness."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.