Bahamas government says death toll rises to 43

A boat sits grounded in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian, in Marsh Harbor, Abaco Island, Bahamas, Friday, Sept. 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Gonzalo Gaudenzi)

The government of the Bahamas says the death toll from Hurricane Dorian has risen to 43 and will likely increase as searchers discover more bodies.

Health Minister Duane Sands confirmed the death toll in a WhatsApp message to The Associated Press on Friday night.

The announcement came as search and rescue teams tried to reach some communities isolated by flood waters and debris after the hurricane bashed the northern Bahamas earlier this week with 185 mph (295 kph) winds that obliterated countless homes.

At least four deaths in the Southeast U.S. were also blamed on Dorian. All were men in Florida and North Carolina who died in falls or by electrocution while preparing for the hurricane.