As you probably have seen the past hours on the news, there’s a new hurricane sweeping through the Caribean. ‘Irma’ is categorized as one of the strongest and biggest hurricanes ever and has just passed the Dutch Caribean dependencies of Saba, St Eustatius and Sint Maarten. Especially Sint Maarten took a big hit, and communications with the island are just getting up and running again. This video is shot by the Dutch Navy and shows the extreme devastation the hurricane has caused:
The Dutch cabinet has convened this Thursday to discuss the Dutch response and relief efforts. But according to Minister Plasterk it’s difficult to get a good image of all the damage since communications are sparse.
The Dutch Ministery of Foreign affairs has stated that there are preparations to make the runway usable, and they are sending down food for 40k people for approx 5 days, as well as a dedicated C-150 to coordinate transportation and supplies between St. Maarten and Curacao. An additional 110 marines will be sent to help support the 90 that are already there or on their way.
Hurricane Irma, hit the region as a Category 5 Hurricane exactly 22 years to the day that Hurricane Luis devastated the island back in 1995. The full extent of the damage is not yet known as many areas are still unaccessible. Many people are unaccounted for at the time this was written. If you want to help, the Red Cross started raising funds to support the victims of Hurricane Irma, donations to Giro 5125 can be made from the Red Cross website.
Many hotels sustained severe damage and some have already announced they are beyond repair for the upcoming tourist season. The effects on the people and the economy are huge. Stay strong Sint Maarten!