I've visited St Martin/Sint Maarten twice, once in 2009 and again in 2014. It's unclear when I or anyone will spend a vacation there in future, because this morning the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic smashed directly into the island.
At 8:43 AST, the Guardian posted these videos.
Twitter user Kurt Siegelin posted this video at 9:12 AST.
As of 9:30 AST,
French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb also said that government buildings on the island of Saint Martin - the most sturdy built there - had been destroyed.
“We know that the four most solid buildings on the island have been destroyed which means that more rustic structures have probably been completely or partially destroyed,” he told reporters.
Meanwhile, Puerto Rico is bracing for impact as most models forecast the eye to pass just north of San Juan:
This is the first Category-5 storm to hit Puerto Rico since 1928, and is significantly more powerful.
The forecast track puts the storm in South Florida on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Jose is right behind Irma, but forecast to pass northeast of the Windward Islands over the weekend. And Tropical Storm Katia is about to blow across southern Mexico.
I'll be following all three closely this week.