Reports on hurricane damage in Dominica, which took a direct hit from Category 5 Maria on Sept. 19, tell a story of tremendous loss. 

"The main general hospital took a beating. Patient care has been compromised," Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said in a statement issued by Henry Hartley, his chief aid.

Buildings serving as shelters lost roofs. More than 97% of roofs are damaged, including the police station's. Roads and bridges buckled under the force of the winds.

Little contact has been made with the outer communities. People who walked 15 miles to the capital city of Roseau reported total destruction of homes, roadways and crops.

"We urgently need bedding supplies, tarpaulins, roofing materials, helicopter services to take food, water, tarps to the outer districts," Skerrit said.

Canefield Airport, the smaller of Dominica's two airports, can accommodate helicopter landings. The waters surrounding the main port in Roseau will be calm enough today to accommodate vessels with relief supplies.

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