If you use words too much, they begin to lose their meaning. After you write and read “devastated” and “destroyed” hundreds of times, the effect begins to wear off.
So how to explain the magnitude of the destruction in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria destroyed swathes of the US territory home to 3.4 million souls? You can read that most of the power went out on September 20, but do you realize how exactly that affects the people living there?
AFP had a team of reporters, photographers and video journalists covering the disaster. Some were used to documenting calamities, others arrived and got stuck on the island when calamity struck back home. Here Leila Macor, Ricardo Arduengo, Jose Osorio, Hector Retamal and Eleonore Sens recount how they kept going to bear witness to the worst natural disaster to hit the island in a century.