Hurricane Irma kills five as it sweeps through island of Saint Martin

by Abel Hampton September 10, 2017, 9:15
Hurricane Irma kills five as it sweeps through island of Saint Martin

The award-winning Princess Juliana airport in St Maarten has been destroyed by Hurricane Irma.

Three people from our area are now on their way home after being stranded in Sint Maarten after Hurricane Irma tore across the Caribbean island.

A New Zealand woman was killed this year by a jet blast from a plane.

The wind speeds hit a peak of 185 miles per hour, according to Capital Weather Gang, and is considered to be the strongest in recorded history, as reported by The Washington Post. The hurricane ripped through the airport, blowing over safety fences and battering nearby Maho Beach.

Dutch authorities are trying to gauge the extent of damage, but officials say it appears to be significant.

On Wednesday, Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in a statement that the island of St. Martin was among those that "have unfortunately been hit hard". The island is east of Puerto Rico.

The island is divided between French St. Martin and Dutch St. Maarten, where the Dutch government estimated Saturday that 70 percent of houses were badly damaged or destroyed, leaving much of the 40,000 population in public shelters as they braced for the arrival of Jose.

"Hurricane Irma has taken us OFFLINE", Maho Beach Cam personnel stated on their site.

As the storm raged westwards, it left scenes of widespread devastation on the islands with the roofs wrenched off many buildings, dozens of huge shipping containers tossed aside like matchsticks and debris flung far and wide, aerial footage from a Dutch naval helicopter showed.

About 100 troops are on the island helping local authorities assess damage and fix vital infrastructure in the storm's aftermath.

Rutte said that "as soon as the weather permits", two marine ships from Aruba and Curacaowill deliver military and relief supplies.

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