Hurricane Dorian pulverised part of the Bahamas a month ago and officials say there are still at least 600 people missing.
Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said the number of those missing has significantly dropped in the past weeks and the death toll has risen.
Earlier figures released by the government indicated that about 1,300 people were unaccounted for. The official death toll across the Bahamas stands at 56, Mr Minnis said.
Dorian flattened homes after it made landfall Sept. 1, leaving thousands with no power, running water and a widespread damage resembling a war zone.
Authorities fear the number of victims will skyrocket in the coming weeks.
"We know that there are considerably more lives lost because there are still 600 missing," Mr Minnis said at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. "Because the rising then receding ocean water swept away young and old with their homes."
Medical teams on aid trips to Grand Bahama say they smell the carnage as they drive to the east end of Grand Bahama. They say some bodies may be trapped under mountains of rubble where houses once stood. Others may have been washed away in the storm surge and their bodies only recently surfaced on land.
In the past weeks, tens of thousands of residents were displaced, with thousands fleeing to the United States.
The Bahamas government has announced plans to hire local companies to conduct extensive debris removal in the hardest-hit areas.