St Maarten Sustains Unprecedented Damage from Hurricane Irma
The island of St. Maarten/St. Martin took a beating from Hurricane Irma, which is still packing winds of 180mph as it heads towards the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
French officials have reported as much as six deaths on the island and significant damage to major buildings and homes.
Equally, on the Dutch side, the damage can only be called catastrophic as the hotels which are the islands anchors in the tourism industry have been destroyed.
A report from the Dutch Marines who are enroute on the ship Pelikaan note that the hospital and airport are damaged.
“We are currently sailing 208km below SXM. About 9.15h to go. The Pelican is stuffed with AID relief supplies, Trucks, Water machine, Ambulance, Watertanks for distribution, Provisions, Drugs and medical supplies, A bulldozer. Whether or not we can get everything on land remains unknown.
Both the pier of Saba and Statia are non accessible. The harbour of SXM is badly damaged. We carry small boats so both Dutch and CuraÃ§aolanean military can get to shore. The bulldozer will be of use to clear the runway. The airport building did not survive the hurricane. 6 reported deaths on the french side, but possibly more…on the Dutch side 9 people have been badly injured. It is unclear whether or not these people can get medical attention.
The hospital is non operational and damaged. Currently we are also concerned about hurricane JosÃ©. That will probably hit St. Maarten on Saturday.”
Social media communities are coordinating a lot of the communication to the outside world about what is happening on island.
Here is a list of areas where they have information on:
Beacon Hill: No info as yet
Belair: Homes seem to be OK
Bettyâ€™s Estate: People OK. Roofs gone. Looting taking place.
Cole Bay: Hit hard. Very heavy damage. Some people getting connection to family some not.
Trees uprooted. Roofs blown off. Zinc everywhere. Poles down
Large Harley Davidson building destroyed.
Cul de Sac: No news yet.
Dutch Quarter: Not good apparently. Buildings collapsed?
Roofs are gone, everyone so far is safe
Madame Estate: People OK. Roofs gone.
Marigot: Sever flooding. Many many roofs gone.
Maryâ€™s Fancy: People OK no news on damage
Middle Region: Heavy Damage
Orange Grove: Heavy Damage
Pelican A Mess
Billy Folly Area:Most roofs gone. Very few roofs survived.
Point Blanche: Heard from 2 homes. Roofs gone. People OK
Inaccessible due to flooding.
Reports of containers from the Harbor floating in the bay
Puerto Cupecoy: No News
Saunders: People OK. Some say damage OK some say many roofs gone
St. Johnâ€™s Estate: Seems to be OK. Apparently thereâ€™s a local watsapp group thatâ€™s active there.
Simpson Bay: Heavy Damage. Lots of flooding right now. Houses wrecked.
Town: Very heavy damage.
Watch Aerial footage of the damage on St. Maarten.