Critical Situation in Sint Maarten as Chaos Ensues, Government Demands Order as Jose Approaches

The situation on the island of St. Maarten is turning dire due to the actions and chaos being caused by criminals. There have been many reports of looting that started almost immediately after the destruction caused by Hurricane Irma. It now appears that looting is turning into violence.

There were earlier reports today of violence and assaults occurring at and around Simpson Bay Resort and Flamingo Beach Resort. I’ve also heard reports of violence coming in from Point Blanche. Most assuredly this behavior is not isolated to only these areas but I have not gotten any information on other areas of the island.

The government has stated that all citizens are to remain in their homes. No one is allowed to leave unless they are directly involved in relief efforts.

Beginning immediately, police and military will be clearing the streets of all people not authorized to be helping with relief. This enforcement will be strict and will consist of immediate action taken by the authorities against anyone not abiding to their directives.

Late yesterday afternoon, Prime Minister William Marlin spoke on Laser 101 FM and called for calm and cooperation. He stated, “We have lost a lot, but this time around we have lost no lives.” Adding, “Let us put the lives that were spared to good use, collectively, to move this country forward.”

While the communications on the island are devastated, Laser 101 FM has been broadcasting live. They’ve also had a live internet stream — you can listen on — but over the last couple of hours that stream has been going in and out. The loss of the stream coincides with the increase in violence and I’m hoping that they are not related.

In addition, the relief efforts have begun but it is not clear exactly to what extent. The Dutch government have been posting updates and photos of military boats arriving, soldiers on the streets and even a government airplane landing at SXM. But there are also reports that military are leaving the island (or have already left) to Curaçao until Hurricane Jose passes.

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Jon Ferlise

I fell in love with the island of Saint Martin the first time I visited to celebrate my 40th birthday in May of 2009. Since then, I've spent most birthdays there, and have visited countless other times getting to know this wonderful place and the friendly locals that make it so special. I adore the culture, the people, the community, and the beauty of this stunning island. SXM Strong is a website that I started to support humanitarian relief efforts following Hurricane Irma. There was no plan, it just evolved as I witnessed the devastation that Irma caused the island and the huge need to communicate and disseminate information about what had happened and how people could help support this island and its people.

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