AIRPORT, St. Maarten - When the dust settled down, many persons took the opportunity to leave the island, as humanitarian flights were made available for them.
Amongst those who quickly seized the moment were nationals of the Dominican Republic, the United States and the Netherlands.
PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - When hurricane Irma struck our island early Wednesday morning on the 6th of September, she sounded like an angry lion in search of her cub.
For almost eight hours, the angry winds pounded on any and everything in its path. Just when residents thought that it was all over and tried to venture out to take a quick pick at the damage caused by the hurricane, quickly, they had to rush back in for cover, as the tail of the storm dangerously made land fall at around 8 am, destroying almost everything in its path. And I mean almost everything!
When it was over, the island was completed devastated with all kind of wreckage covering the entire land mass, roofless homes could be spotted from a far, as many persons were made homeless and what was once lush green hills, quickly turned into brown pastures .
Shortly after Irma was gone, the looting started as if the hurricane had not done enough damage to the country. People from all walks of life, young and old, seized on the already venerable situation and started to loot, loot everything they could find.
PORT ST. MAARTEN – The cargo section at Port St. Maarten is operational and safe berthing of vessels has commenced since the earlier part of the week.
Damage assessments carried out including with the support of military devices, reveals that there are no obstructions to hinder vessels from docking at the cargo quay.
At the moment, the current focus of incoming goods into the country will be limited to relief goods but will also include building materials which are essential to the rebuilding effort of country Sint Maarten.
A number of requests have been received from private consignees, and Port St. Maarten’s Management advises that the aforementioned should follow-up with cargo agents to regulate the import of goods into the country.
PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten – After the passing of hurricane Irma, in efforts to ensure the reopening of our schools in a timely manner, and the well being of students and teachers, the Minister of ECYS has met with the various school boards and Ministry ECYS, and has been assessing the damage of the various schools. The technical assessment of the schools has been done, and the assessment of the wellbeing of the teachers, management and staff is ongoing with the Ministry ECYS in collaboration with the school boards, a target date has been determined for the reopening of some of the schools.
All students are of a priority, however, the exam and pre-exam have been identified, as a critical group and school will resume on October 2nd, 2017. The other classes and groups will start then as well as long as the schools are deemed ready for such. Regaining a sense of normalcy will go a long way in helping to stabilize our communities, as well as give parents a sense of peace that their children are learning and well taken care of. However, the human component, namely wellbeing of our teachers, management, staff and students is a main priority before school can commence.
PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - On Wednesday 20,000 pounds of supplies were offloaded and today (Thursday) 35,000 pounds. Tourism and Economy Minister Mellissa Arrindell-Doncher and her cabinet members has swung into action over the past few days to distribute much needed supplies to various districts following the passing and destruction of hurricane Irma.
The Minister along with her Chief of Staff Cecil Nicholas and Director of the St. Maarten Tourist Office Rolando Brison ensured that all the airlines that Ministry TEATT coordinated to come into St. Maarten to evacuate people, were loaded with relief supplies.
“The Minister wanted to ensure that when the flights arrived with supplies for our people. She has been in direct discussion with top management of airlines to ensure that this happens. The effort was further coordinated by Mr. Brison and Mr. Nicholas who are both stuck in the Netherlands but has been performing miracles with relief and evacuation flights,” the Minister’s PR/Executive Assistance Mike Granger explained.
PORT ST. MAARTEN – Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines Majesty of the Seas cruise ship arrives on Friday, September 15, on a humanitarian mission to evacuate American citizens or those with Visa Waiver/ESTA entry requirements, allowing the person to enter the U.S. territory legally.
The aforementioned group should meet at the St. Maarten Festival Village on Pond Island to register to leave the island on the same day with the cruise vessel. Registration starts at 7.00 AM until 3.00 PM on Friday.
Persons will be responsible for their own travel beyond Puerto Rico to their final destination. Everybody should meet at the Festival Village in an orderly manner and park in the public parking areas near the village. The Marines will be at the Festival Village to assist with security.
WILLEMSTAD, Curacao - On Sunday, Royal Caribbean International's Adventure of the Seas made a humanitarian stop in St. Maarten to drop off supplies and evacuate more than 300 people following Hurricane Irma.
Before reaching Puerto Rico, the final destination of the cruise, the ship docked in Curacao today, before heading to Aruba.
Staff of the U.S. Consulate General Curacao provided assistance to the U.S. citizen evacuees, which included a visit to a medical doctor for evacuees requiring medical attention, and a visit by a local veterinarian to provide care for pets.
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