Beyond the at least 15 lives claimed by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico the islanders are only now beginning to realise the scale of the task that lies before them in rebuilding their nation.
Entire communities have been blown away or are now semi-submerged, with the worst affected the poor, mostly wood-built neighbourhoods, barrios like Juana Matos, where 80% of the homes have simply disappeared.
Some of the around 2000 inhabitants were too old or unwilling to leave when the storm hit. Now they have no choice, and in many places rescuers have to get to them by boat, the roads under several feet of water below them.
It is the same picture of misery in the Dominican Republic, where entire towns have been wiped from the face of the earth, and flooding is widespread.
At least 32 people have died across the Caribbean in Maria’s fury, and many people wonder how cash-strapped governments can help those who have lost everything.