While the Caribbean had a quiet hurricane season so far this year, that may change in the coming days. On Thursday or Friday Dutch time, Hurricane Isaac will cross paths with the Windward Islands. The Dutch islands of Sint Maarten, Saba and Sint Eustatius can expect some extreme weather with very strong winds and lots of rain, Weeronline reports.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte visited Sint Eustatius, Saba and Sint Maarten. Reconstruction following the devastation left by Hurricane Irma is still in full swing on the three islands, which form part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, RTL Nieuws reports.
2017 was a busy year for the Netherlands, with parliamentary elections and a new government forming, a hurricane hitting three islands that form part of the Kingdom, and a number of murders that rocked the country. Here follows a summary of the biggest stories of the year.
State Secretary Raymond Knops of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations is currently paying a visit to Sint Maarten. "My commitment is focused on restoring relations with the Netherlands in order to ensure that the path is paved for reconstruction. The resignation of the prime minister ensured that we can moved forward and that we can help Sint Maarten further", he said to NU.nl from the island.
Hurricane Maria pulled past Sint Maarten during the early hours of Wednesday morning, at first sight with out causing much damage. Sint Eustatius and Saba got more wind and rain this time around, compared to hurricane Irma two weeks ago, but there too the damages seem to be limited, AD reports. The hurricane is still increasing in strength and is now heading towards the American Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
On Tuesday King Willem-Alexander opened the Netherlands' parliamentary year with his traditional Budget Day speech. He talked about the devastation Hurricane Irma left of the Caribbean islands that form part of the Dutch Kingdom, terrorism around the world, the prosecution of those responsible for the MH17 disaster, and making sure that everyone in the Netherlands benefits from the improving economy, among other things.
Saba and Sint Eustatius are anxiously awaiting Hurricane Maria, which is set to pass close by the islands in the course of the morning or early in the afternoon. Hurricane Maria increased in strength and is now considered a category 5 hurricane, the strongest category, with wind speeds up to 260 kilometers per hour, BNR reports.
Hurricane Maria is heading towards the Caribbean, but is currently expected to miss the Kingdom of the Netherlands islands, according to Nicolien Kroon of Buienradar. The strong winds and heavy rains the hurricane brings with it can still cause many problems on the islands, especially for Sint Maarten, which was devastated by Hurricane Irma a week and a half a go, RTL Nieuws reports.
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.
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. Back in the mainland Netherlands, a more hopeful scene unfolded at Eindhoven Airport, as the first 100 or so evacuees from the hurricane hit island were reunited with family members.
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.
Plasterk spoke with the press after visiting patients at the Sint Elisabeth Hospital, who were flown to Curacao after the hurricane to get medical treatment. Before that he and the King visited the meteorological service in Curacao and the Parera naval center.
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.
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.
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. On the site, residents and visitors to the islands can report themselves safe, RTL Nieuws reports.
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.
Sint Maarten, Sint Eustatius and Saba are preparing for Hurricane Irma, which is expected to hit the islands on Tuesday night or during the early hours of Wednesday morning. The storm is increasing in strength and is now considered a hurricane of the fourth category, RTL Nieuws reports.
Children and young people on the Dutch Caribbean islands have too few possibilities "to develop their talents", Children Ombudsman Margrite Kalverboer said in a new report published on Wednesday. On paper the kids on Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius have the same rights as other children in the Netherlands. "But in practice, we see that the bar for children in the Dutch Caribbean is much lower", Kalverboer said, according to the Volkskrant. "We have two standards. That can and must not be."