Latin America

Hurricane Maria turns Dominica into 'giant debris field'

At least 80 percent of buildings on the tiny island damaged and most communication lines destroyed in Maria's wake.

Dominica - Hurricane Maria has killed at least 33 people so far, with the bulk of those deaths happening on the tiny island of Dominica.

At least 80 percent of the buildings there have been damaged and most communication lines cut.

The people of this island nation of 71,000 are desperate, and some are still in shock.

The floodwaters took out the island's power lines, so there has been no electricity for a week.

Aside from the homes, schools, and other buildings, markets were also flattened, leaving little food for the population.

A 78-year-old man told Al Jazeera he had not eaten in days.

"When it hit I was in my house, and I stood outside to see it. It was getting so strong so I moved and then a roof collapsed right where I was," he said.

Aid operations are still in their early phases, but what cannot wait is water supply.

Given the magnitude of the destruction, many parts of Dominica no longer exists.

Once a bustling island full of life, music and culture, the country of Dominica has been reduced to being one giant debris field.

Officials and aid workers said it could take months, if not years to rebuild what has been destroyed.

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