~ I hear your cries for help ~
PHILIPSBURG–“I understand that many of you are angry, that you don’t have answers and that your lives have changed, perhaps forever. I hear your cries for help.” This was part of a message from Prime Minister William Marlin to the people of St. Maarten nine days after monster Hurricane Irma devastated the country.
This was Marlin’s first formal statement other than the periodic updates given via Laser 101 radio station in the days following the storm. The statement was sent to the international press late Thursday night and only disseminated this morning to the people it was really directed to – St. Maarten residents.
Marlin called for unity in his statement, adding: “As your leader, I too, feel the distress when I wake each morning to realize the devastation of our beloved St. Maarten.”
The beauty of the country is not lost, he said. “I insist that you are the beauty – the power of our people, and the power of collaboration and kindness – and together, we are all the hope for a new tomorrow.”
Tourism, the very core of St. Maarten, “has been destroyed, yet not forever.”
While rebuilding will be on the horizon, government’s focus right now is on humanitarian relief efforts. “I am here to support and ensure that you are safe, and have the fresh water, food and shelter that you need to simply get through the day in each and every district. Rebuilding will come, in time,” Marlin said.
Recovery efforts have begun. Safe evacuations of tourists continue. St. Maarten has the support of the Dutch Marines for law and order. A Disaster Assistance Response Team from Samaritan’s Purse is on the ground working.
The restoration of telecommunication networks, electricity grid and water distribution network have begun. Telem and UTS are operational and four gas stations have opened during the curfew from 9:00am to 2:00pm daily.
Several supermarkets have opened. Two radio stations are broadcasting.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/69394-marlin-understands-many-are-angry