At 6:00 a.m. on Friday morning Minister Ronald Plasterk of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations officially launched the national fundraising action for Sint Maarten, Saba and Eustatius, who were all hit by devastating Hurricane Irma last week. The action "The Netherlands helps Sint Maarten" is a collaboration between the Red Cross and Dutch broadcasters RTL, NPO and SBS.
The Red Cross' fundraiser to help the people of Sint Maarten after the devastating Hurricane Irma, Giro 5125, raised over 4.3 million euros so far. And the donations keep coming in, the Red Cross announced on Thursday, RTL Nieuws reports.
Sint Maarten can count on a financial contribution from the Netherlands to help it recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Irma, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Tuesday evening, according to Metro Nieuws. He did not mention any amounts.
Sint Maarten hopes that the island can recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Irma within a year or two, deputy minister of the island Henrietta Doran-York said after a national council meeting in The Hague on Tuesday. She also praised the cooperation between the Netherlands and Sint Maarten in the run-up and aftermath of the hurricane, and refuted criticism about a lack of preparation for the hurricane, RTL Nieuws reports.
Dutch King Willem-Alexander is overwhelmed by the devastation Hurricane Irma left on Sint Maarten, one of the Caribbean islands that form part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. "I've never seen anything like this, everywhere you look you see destruction and upheaval", the King said from the island on Tuesday, NU.nl reports.
King Willem-Alexander and Minister Ronald Plasterk of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations arrived on Sint Maarten on Monday afternoon, local time. They landed on a battered Princess Juliana International Airport, where they were immediately faced with the devastation Hurricane Irma left in its wake.
The first plane carrying evacuees from Sint Maarten is on its way back to the Netherlands. The air force KDC-10 plane is expected to land at Eindhoven air base at around 3:30 p.m., Omroep Brabant reports. The evacuees were previously only taken as far as Curacao.
King Willem-Alexander will visit Sint Maarten, Sint Eustatius and Saba on Monday to see the aftermath of Hurricane Irma with his own eyes, Minister Ronald Plasterk of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations said on Curacao on Sunday afternoon, ANP reports.
In addition to the material destruction Hurricane Irma left in its wake, the island of Sint Maarten is now also dealing with looters carrying off whatever they can get their hands on, according to various news sources.
An eye witness told BNR on Friday morning that armed looters are working in organized groups to take as much as they can. Minister Ronald Plasterk of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations confirmed the looting, according to Financieele Dagblad.
Minister Bert Koenders is on his way to Tallinn to meet with his French and British counterparts for a discussion on the consequences of devastating Hurricane Irma, the Telegraaf reports. "We are in close contact with the other affected countries. It's time to put our shoulders to the wheel", Koenders said to the newspaper.
The EU Foreign Affairs Ministers are meeting in Tallin, the capital of Estonia, today. Estonia is the current president of the European Union.
The situation in the part of the Dominican Republic that will soon be hit by Hurricane Irma, was still calm on Thursday morning, Odile Horjus from Doetinchem said to the Gelderlander. "It's very quiet. It's only raining steadily", the Dutch woman, who lives in Sousa on the north coast of the Caribbean sate, said around 9:00 a.m. Dutch time, 3:00 a.m. Dominican time.
The Kingdom of the Netherlands was hit hard by Hurricane Irma, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in a press conference after a crisis meeting about emergency relief for the islands of Sint Maarten, Saba and Sint Eustatius on Thursday morning, NU.nl reports. The government is very concerned about Hurricane Jose, which may hit the Dutch islands on Saturday.
At least 2,400 Dutch travelers are currently in the areas that will soon face the wrath of Hurricane Irma, according to travel agency TUI, NU.nl reports.
Around 1,600 Dutch are on Cuba and the Dominican Republic. They booked trips through TUI subsidiary Kras. The other 800 are in the American state of Florida.
TUI also has four travelers on Sint Maarten, where Hurricane Irma hit on Wednesday, leaving devastation in its wake. TUI managed to make contact with all four Dutch and they are doing well.
The Dutch Ministers involved in providing aid to the islands affected by Hurricane Irma on Wednesday, are meeting in the National Crisis Center in The Hague at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday morning. The main purpose of this meeting is to map what aid exactly the islands of Sint Maarten, Saba and Sint Eustatius need, Minister Ronald Plasterk of Home Affairs and Kingdom relations said to broadcaster NOS.
The Netherlands islands of Sint Maarten, Saba and Sint Eustatius were struck by Hurricane Irma on Wednesday. All three islands were hit hard, but Sint Maarten sustained the most damage. As more and more photos and footage surface from the islands, the extent of the damage is becoming clear.
The Red Cross started raising funds to support the victims of Hurricane Irma, which caused massive amounts of damage on the islands of Sint Maarten, Sint Estatius and Saba on Wednesday. Donations to Giro 5125 can be made from the Red Cross website.
Hurricane Irma took at least six lives on Saint-Martin, the French part of the island that also includes Sint Maarten, broadcaster Franceinfo reported on behalf of the French government. Thus far no information is available about victims in the Dutch part of the island, the Telegraaf reports.
Photos and videos posted on social media as they eye of Hurricane Irma passed over Sint Maarten show that the hurricane already did massive amounts of damage on the island. Despite the fact that the island is still on lockdown, and no one is allowed outside, the effects of the hurricane are becoming increasingly visible.
Hurricane Irma hit the island of Sint Maarten around 12:10 p.m. on Wednesday, Dutch time. The hurricane's eye is expected to pass the island between 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m., NU.nl reports.
According to Weerplaza, the island can expect wind speeds of around 295 kilometers per hour, with even stronger gusts. The hurricane is also accompanied by heavy rains, which can cause flooding problems.
The Red Cross activate its "I'm safe and well" website for the islands of Sint Maarten, Sint Eustatius and Saba in preparation for Hurricane Irma, which is set to hit the Dutch islands during the course of the morning.
People on the islands of Sint Maarten, Sint Eustatius and Saba are frantically preparing for Hurricane Irma to hit. The class 5 hurricane is expected to hit the islands that form part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands around noon. Wind speeds of around 295 kilometers per hour, heavy rains and flood waves are expected.
Hurricane Irma is expected to hit the islands of Sint Maarten, Sint Eustatius and Saba, all part of the Dutch Kingdom, at noon on Wednesday (Netherlands time), according to NU.nl. The hurricane is considered a class five hurricane, the fiercest category on the Saffir-Simmpson scale. With wind speeds of 295 kilometers per hour measured, Irma is in the top 5 of fiercest Atlantic hurricanes, RTL Nieuws reports.
The hurricane will hit Antigua and Barbuda on Wednesday morning. The authorities on the two Caribbean islands called on residents to seek shelter.