PHILIPSBURG–Monster Hurricane Irma slammed into St. Maarten/St. Martin leaving in her wake devastation, chaos, homelessness and looting. Residents are in desperate need of water and food.
So far some 43 varying levels of injuries have been treated at St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC). The only confirmed death on the Dutch side so far was reported by her aunt on facebook, but there are more reports of casualties.
Communication to the outside world is extremely limited with radio and mobile phone networks wiped out. St. Maarten Telephone Company TelEm is the only provider able to restore some connectivity of phone and internet.
There is no electricity, except for those with generators. Utilities company GEBE’s offices and its power plant were partially demolished by the force of the wind.
The Dutch Marines and local law enforcement are on the streets but were not sufficient in number to stem looting and keep general public order. A number of people have been arrested for looting.
The first batch of post-Irma Dutch Marine reinforcements arrived earlier on Thursday via plane from Curaçao to support those already stationed here.
The number is expected to increase of over the coming days.
National carrier Windward Islands Airways International Winair has sustained paralysing losses, alth9hgh they did move their planes elsewhere in the region. This makes air connections to St. Eustatius and Saba from St. Maarten non-existent.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/69237-st-maarten-flattened-after-monster-irma