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What another word for a place being in ruins (figuratively). Like a place hit with a tornado and is now in ____?

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If a place has been hit with a tornado, it's probably literally in ruins, rather than figuratively. – Jon Hanna Jun 11 '14 at 0:45
Do you want to retain the preposition "in"? That's what I understood. Though, "in ruins" is an idiomatic usage as well. – ermanen Jun 11 '14 at 2:38
up vote 5 down vote accepted

A shambles.

From the OED:

5b. pl. … a scene of disorder or devastation; a ruin; a mess. orig. U.S.

1926 P. H. de Kruif Microbe Hunters iii. iv. 83 Once more his laboratory became a shambles of cluttered flasks and hurrying assistants.

1966 M. R. D. Foot SOE in France viii. 184 Helped the commandos to make a thorough shambles of the main dockyard.

This derives from another sense of shambles, meaning a slaughterhouse or a similarly bloody scene.

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The place is devastated. It has been ravaged.

If, instead of a tornado hitting it, it is falling apart due to age and neglect it could be dilapidated.

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The place is now reduced to rubble.

The place is now in tatters.
The place has been left in tatters.

The place is now in a state of complete disarray.

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In the words of Mick Jagger, Sh-sh-shattered. Shadoobie. – Spehro Pefhany Jun 11 '14 at 17:03

torn asunder

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I use the word shambles - a state of total disorder.

other near words are falling to pieces, wrecked, ramshackles...

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This place is now torn to shreds.

This place is now ripped to pieces.

This place is now an urban wasteland.

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Having fallen into a state of disrepair or deterioration, as through neglect; broken-down and shabby.



A gradual deterioration to an inferior state: urban decay.

Fallen into ruin.

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Decay and dilapidation take time. They're not something I would consider the result of a tornado. I think @BenKovit has the best answer here. – JLG Jun 11 '14 at 16:38
@JLG thanks didnt see it like that – armoose Jun 12 '14 at 2:40

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