With telecommunications destroyed on the hurricane-ravaged island of Dominica, one of the only means of getting word out to the world is from amateur Ham radio operators.
And families desperate for news on their loved ones, the information being shared is bad – people are feared dead.
On a scale of one to ten, the damage was put at nine. Almost all the homes are damaged, with many completely destroyed, the Ham operators reported.
“Everything is down. Roads are block. The power lines have fallen. Some concrete homes are standing but the windows are blown out. 100 per cent of house have suffered damage” one Ham operator reported.
Particularly hard hit by the Category 5 hurricane Maria overnight is the northern part of the island where the university is located and where many international students reside.
A full assessment of the scope of the damage done to the island overnight is being undertaken by emergency management authorities.
Images of the damage were not available up to Tuesday evening.
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, who had to be rescued from his collapsing residence during the worst of the storm, has called for international aid.
“So far we have lost all what money can buy and replace. My greatest fear for the morning is that we will wake to news of serious physical injury and possible deaths as a result of likely landslides triggered by persistent rains.
“So, far the winds have swept away the roofs of almost every person I have spoken to or otherwise made contact with. The roof to my own official residence was among the first to go and this apparently triggered an avalanche of torn away roofs in the city and the countryside” he said.