By the Caribbean Journal staff
The Category-5 Hurricane Irma pummeled the dual-nation island of St Martin/St Maarten and nearby St Barth on Wednesday, leaving massive flooding and widespread destruction.
The storm caused the deaths of at least two people, confirmed by French President Emmanuel Macron, who said the damage would be “harsh and cruel.”
“Structural damage on the two islands is considerable,” he said.
Crucially, the storm also devastated the Dutch side’s Princess Juliana International Airport, a major hub for the wider Caribbean region, though the extent of the damage was not yet clear.
Whoa. This is the havoc of Hurricane Irma on the Caribbean island of Saint Martin.pic.twitter.com/Eh7mRdPkiJ
— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) September 6, 2017
Macron said his government was mobilizing a total response to the disaster, setting up an emergency fund and beginning to implement a reconstruction plan.
French Overseas Minister Annick Girardin will visit Thursday to assess and bring resources to the island.