PHILIPSBURG/WILLEMSTAD–The United States has issued a travel warning to its citizens to avoid non-essential travel to St. Maarten while post Hurricane Irma recovery efforts are underway.
There is no US Consulate on the island. All U.S. citizens, regardless of purpose of travel, are strongly encouraged to enrol their travel plans on the website: travel.state.gov, using the Smart Traveller Enrolment Program (STEP.state.gov). In addition, travellers should apprise family and friends in the United States of their whereabouts.
Once commercial flights resume, flight schedules may be limited. As with any disaster of this magnitude, mosquitoes and mosquito-borne illnesses are likely. Lack of sanitation may lead to other health issues.
The hurricane struck St. Maarten as a Category 5 plus hurricane, causing catastrophic damage to the infrastructure. While the St. Maarten Government works to restore order and security, hotel capacity is severely limited and large parts of the country are without power. Telephone and internet are partially operational with intermittent coverage.
The water distribution network was damaged and, in some areas, supplies are limited to bottled drinking water. The hospital is operating but with diminished patient-intake capacity. The airport sustained significant damage.
US citizens in St. Maarten in need of assistance can dial 919 locally. The Consular Section of the U.S. Consulate General Curacao, located at J.B. Gorsiraweg 1, can be contacted at + 599(9) 461-3066 during regular business hours (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday) or by email at [email protected] After-hours, in case of an emergency, U.S. citizens can call +599(9) 510-6870.