Officials in the Bahamas expect the death toll from Hurricane Dorian to rise dramatically in coming days as aid organizations mounted relief efforts.

Dorian is officially the strongest storm ever to ravage the Bahamas, leaving catastrophic damage in its wake. Officials put the death count a5 30 but Bahamiam Health Minister Duane Sands warned the final tally could be “staggering.”

“The public needs to prepare for unimaginable information about the death toll and the human suffering,” Sands told local radio.

Possibly the worst hit in the Bahamas was the Island of Great Abaco. The island has been left nearly uninhabitable. Workers were digging through the rubble in protective suits, looking for survivors, while militias tried to prevent looting. Aerial images show the level of destruction, from overturned cars to scattered debris ripped from houses. The islands' only international airport was unusable for evacuation and aid deliveries. The World Health Organization set up field hospitals to treat victims since flooding has rendered many hospitals useless.

“You smell the decomposing bodies as you walk through Marsh Harbour,” resident Sandra Sweeting told The Telegraph. “It's everywhere. There are a lot of people who aren't going to make it off this island.”

Sweeting’s sentiment is shared by many residents who said the official death toll has been woefully underestimated.

“I work part-time in a funeral home. I know what death smells like,” resident Anthony Thompson also told The Telegraph. “There must be hundreds, hundreds.”

Despite the damage, relief efforts have ramped up as Dorian has moved away from the Bahamas. The U.N. World Food Program was flying in 8 tons of supplies, including ready-to-eat meals and generators. Actor Tyler Perry is volunteering his personal plane to bring more supplies like hygiene items and sleeping bags down to the Bahamas as well.

The U.S. Coast Guard has stepped up rescue efforts, saving 205 missing residents as of Friday.

A handout photograph from the British military shows damage from Hurricane Dorian on the island of Abaco in the northern Bahamas A handout photograph from the British military shows damage from Hurricane Dorian on the island of Abaco in the northern Bahamas Photo: MOD / Paul HALLIWELL