"desolating" in the verb sense
1. abandon, forsake, desolate, desert
leave someone who needs or counts on you leave in the lurch
"The mother deserted her children"
2. depopulate, desolate
reduce in population
"The epidemic depopulated the countryside"
3. lay waste to, waste, devastate, desolate, ravage, scourge
cause extensive destruction or ruin utterly
"The enemy lay waste to the countryside after the invasion"
Source: WordNet® (An amazing lexical database of English)
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