Ravaged by Irma, Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélémy with the challenge of rebuild

News 10 September, 2017
  • Photo AFP


    Sunday, 10 September 2017, 10:47

    Sunday, 10 September 2017, 10:47

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    The caribbean islands of Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy, spared by José, but devastated by Irma, was attacked on Sunday, the gigantic construction site of the reconstruction, while part of the population does not hide its exasperation in the face of the action of the French State, also criticized by some policies.

    In contrast to the worst case scenario, the hurricane José went further than expected of the ribs and has had an effect “much less marked” in the two territories, was observed Météo-France.

    “It is a relief of crazy! It is very happy, very happy,” said Junior Joseph, 28 years, homer Saturday in a school in Saint-Martin. At his side, Donald Tchuisseu, thirty, also said, “relieved, limit happy”.

    In the Dutch part of the island, evacuations of tourists had been scheduled to resume Sunday. The king of the netherlands, Willem-Alexander, has to go on the island of Curaçao, for information on relief operations, and then “if possible” to Saint-Martin.

    Saint-Barthélémy and Saint-Martin, a tropical paradise today devastated, must now confront many of the problems in a landscape of ruins: lack of water, food, electricity. The health situation is “delicate,” observed the French prime minister Edouard Philippe on Saturday. But the hospital is ” functional again “, has assured the government Sunday.

    “The first order” for security forces is ” to be able to bring water in all the territories “, said the minister of the Interior, Gérard Collomb. “We have a million litres of water. The problem is not to have it, but distribute it”, he stressed.

    “Security” is the “second deposit”, the minister continued, citing “a number of looting” of stores and pharmacies. There have been 11 arrests so far.

    The military and police are going to be “doubled” to “strengthen the security of the victims,” tweeted the president and Emmanuel Macron on Saturday night.

    In addition to the 410 constables and 80 police officers already on the spot, 380 military and 240 gendarmes mobiles were “in transit” on Sunday, said the government. An A400M advantage of metropolis is also arrived in Martinique on Saturday, with members of the military, a helicopter and cargo on board.

    But the dissatisfaction was rising among the inhabitants traumatized of Saint-Martin, some of whom felt abandoned. “I’m angry after Paris and its management of the crisis”, said Nicolas, officer-in installed for the last six years on the island.

    The beginning of political controversy has also appeared in Paris. The president of the far-right party national Front, Marine Le Pen, has denounced Saturday means “quite inadequate”, and of the islanders “obliged to organize their own defense.” The member of parliament for the right Eric Ciotti as the herald of the radical left Jean-Luc Mélenchon has called for a parliamentary commission of inquiry on the management upstream of the disaster.

    In the Face of these criticisms, the government has defended. His spokesman Christophe Castaner, said, “understand the anger”, but insisted on the means deployed by the State and the “first priority” given to the relief and not the looting.

    Hurricane Irma has done at least ten people dead and seven missing in the French islands, and two in the Dutch part, according to the latest report. In total 25 people have been killed in the Caribbean.

    After hitting Cuba, Irma, rise in category 4, hit hard on Sunday, the archipelago of the Keys in south Florida, where more than a quarter of the population has received the order to evacuate.