PHILIPSBURG–No additional damage was caused to the country’s critical infrastructure following the passage of Hurricane Maria earlier this week, Prime Minister William Marlin said in a statement issued later Wednesday night.
“Thank God for that. However, we need all hands on deck to get our country back to where it belongs. So, let’s get to work, St. Maarten,” Marlin said. “No Irma, no Maria, no super-storm is superior to our indomitable spirit. As has now become popular to say, we are St. Maarten strong. We will emerge from this better, smatter, stronger and more united.”
This certainly will go down as one of the worst hurricane seasons ever in the Caribbean. “I can’t remember any time in recent memory when so many islands in our region have been so heavily devastated by such very powerful storms and we still have some ways to go before the season officially ends,” Marlin said.
Maria, an extremely dangerous category five storm, crawled past our island, dumping a significant amount of rain and brushing the country with tropical storm force winds. “We therefore need to fall on our knees and thank Him for sparing us from the real wrath of Maria,” he said, whilst offering prayers for the sister Caribbean islands impacted by the hurricane’s wrath.
Marlin thanked the people of St. Maarten for their efforts to clean up and return the country to some state of normalcy. “You are the real heroes in this unimaginable tragedy …That response is visible in the way you have been cleaning up your neighbourhoods before Maria rudely interrupted your efforts.”
He commended the “peaceful and orderly manner” residents have been lining up for water, food and other essential supplies. “I am extremely proud of you and I am convinced more than ever before that when we come together as one united and proud St. Maarten people, there is nothing we can’t accomplish.”
“There will be those who will try to sow seeds of division and discord among us to further their own agenda. We must not allow them to succeed. There will be some, even among us, who will seek to exploit our mistakes to discredit our institutions and make it look as if we cannot handle this catastrophe. We should tell them to take a good look at our history of struggle,” Marlin said.
All of St. Maarten’s “friends and partners within the Kingdom and beyond” were thanked for their outpouring of support in the country’s time of need. “We really appreciate your assistance, which we will continue to need and seek as we rebuild our country step by step, day by day, brick by brick,” he said.