Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said yesterday that Hurricane Irma caused "enormous devastation," leaving the island without gas or electricity:
Most communications with the outside world are being conducted via the military, he said, adding that there was “no clarity” on victims.
The Dutch navy, which has two ships stationed off the coast of the island, tweeted images gathered by helicopter showing damaged houses, hotels and boats.
French authorities have counted at least eight dead on the French side of the island.
Photo of Princess Juliana Airport, looking south; Dutch Dept. of Defense.
An official said that 95% of the island was destroyed, rendering the island uninhabitable.
Irma's winds, estimated at 280 km/h when it hit St Martin, mean it had the strength of an EF4 tornado.
And Hurricane Jose, with sustained winds of 240 km/h, is forecast to hit St Martin by 8pm AST tomorrow—about 12 hours before Hurricane Irma hits Florida head-on.