More emergency assistance for St Maarten; evacuation of tourists to begin
In the next few days the Netherlands will send several hundred additional emergency workers – primarily military personnel – to St Maarten to provide support following hurricane Irma. They will bring food, drinking water and medicines to the island, as well as to Saba and St Eustatius. They will also assist local police in maintaining public order and safety.
Around 230 personnel were already on the islands, with another 100 arriving today. On Monday 100 more will arrive and, if required, 150 more will arrive on Wednesday.
Over the past several days, those who required urgent medical care were prioritised for evacuation. This included dialysis patients and those recovering from surgery.
If capacity allows, the Netherlands will now begin evacuating tourists, most likely on military or humanitarian flights. The airport on St Maarten is by no means suitable for commercial flights yet. It is possible that evacuations will be carried out in cooperation with other countries in order to make full use of the capacity available.