MARIGOT:— The president of the Collectivité of Saint-Martin, Mr. Daniel Gibbs, wishes to make a statement about the situation on the island since the passage of Hurricane IRMA, on September 6th, 2017.
Phase 1 of the post-hurricane organization consisted in managing, on the one hand, the urgency in terms of taking care of the wounded, sick or distressed, but also the tourists by organizing the evacuation from the island. On the other hand, the security of the territory by the massive arrival of French military and Police forces. Today this first phase is accomplished and the security of the territory is under control.
The Collectivité of Saint-Martin is now working with its partners on Phase 2 on the post-hurricane organization which consists of:
- Cleaning up debris, bulky items and waste transported by the hurricane
- Distribution of water, food, and materials to the population
- Rehabilitation of water, sanitation and electricity networks.
Most of our tourists are back in their homeland. A group of experts should arrive very soon on the island to realize an evaluation of the hotels, residences and guest houses to help in the rebuilt of the touristic infrastructures.
The meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday, September 12th, 2017, gave an opportunity to President Gibbs to explain the urgent needs of the community, particularly in terms of reconstruction of the territory, helping the population and businesses to restart a normal life, through accompanying measures that will be defined within the partnership established between the State and the Collectivité.
This phase of work (Phase 3) has already been the subject of in-depth work by the president and his teams with two major objectives:
- – an effortless support of the Saint-Martiners and a rapid and sustainable reconstruction and development of the territory in order for Saint-Martin to regain a rapid economic activity.
President Gibbs and his team will do everything in their power to restore the territory’s attractiveness and warmly thanks all the tourism partners and operators around the world who are supporting us in this difficult time and are still willing to assist us in promoting the destination in order for Saint-Martin to become again one of the most appreciated destinations in the Caribbean region.
Press Release from the Collectivity of St. Martin
Message from President of the Collectivity Daniel Gibbs
First of all, my heart goes out to the entire population of Saint-Martin. We have lost so much! Today, I want you all to know that my team and I are putting all of our energy for us to get back up and to make Saint-Martin stronger and more beautiful.
I know you’ve been badly touched, but I also know I can rely on the solidarity of my population.
From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you and tell you how proud I am of witnessing Saint-Martin’s solidarity. Today I have the regret to deplore the death of 11 of our people. I wish to extend my deepest condolences to all the families of the victims.
Yesterday, I meet with President Macron and the Minister of Overseas, Annick Girardin. Together, we met the residents of Grand-Case and Marigot. They are going back to Paris with a clear understanding of our needs and our priorities. They are determined and committed to assisting us in rebuilding Saint-Martin.
The first phase of relief which consisted in ensuring maximum security with the means already on the territory, evacuating the wounded and assisting those in need has been achieved. Despite the hurricane José alert, the necessary measures have been put in place.
Today, the work is in progress and we are currently in Phase 2. Rest assured that we are doing everything in our capacity to organize humanitarian aid, cleaning up of the districts and ensure security is sufficient. It’s going to take time, we need everybody’s cooperation.
Concerning our schools, the Regional Council of Guadeloupe has committed to handling the reconstruction. The National Board of Education is deploying all the means necessary to restart school shortly. It is my priority.
We are officially in a state of “Natural Catastrophe”, the French government promised to assist Saint-Martin in its reconstruction.
From this disaster, we are going to raise and build a brand new Saint Martin in terms of education, security, economy, urbanism… We are going to rebuild our new society.
My determination for a better Saint-Martin remains the same. You have elected me with the mission to help St Martin regain its economic prosperity and Irma will not stand in my way.
Just as you have, I experienced the violence of hurricane Luis in 95. I know what needs to be done, just as I have faith in the trust you have in me and my team. I won’t disappoint you. Courage to all of you. »
Source: St. Martin News Network
President Daniel Gibbs explains state of affairs after Hurricane Irma.