Several media outlets are reporting that Hurricane Irma has claimed at least eight lives in St. Martin and destroyed roughly 95 percent of the French-Caribbean island’s infrastructure.
According to Yahoo News, at least six people have been killed after Hurricane Irma tore through the region, Guadeloupe prefect Eric Maire said Wednesday. But that was before two more deaths were reported.
According to The Nation, Daniel Gibbs, chairman of a local council on St. Martin, said St. Martin is "95 percent destroyed.”
"It's an enormous catastrophe. Ninety-five percent of the island is destroyed. I'm in shock. It's frightening," said Gibbs, a former French lawmaker, speaking on Radio Caribbean International.
According to CNN, French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb told reporters, “In terms of material damage, the four strongest buildings on the island of St. Martin have been destroyed," which meant that weaker structures likely had been damaged or destroyed.
And Hurricane Irma also did major damage to St. Martin’s sister island, the Dutch-Caribean island of St. Maarten. Sonesta Hotels, which represents three major resorts on St. Maarten, issued a statement Wednesday night, detailing the damage assessment of its resorts, as well as the rest of the island.
While all guests and staff members of all three hotels - Sonesta Maho Beach Resort Casino & Spa, Sonesta Ocean Point Resort and Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort & Casino - are safe and unharmed, the hotels themselves suffered major devastation.
“The damages to our resorts, however, are severe, as is widespread damage and destruction on our beloved island of Sint Maarten,” according to the statement. “Severe damage has also occurred at Princess Juliana International Airport, and we do not have news as to when the airport will resume operations.”
According to The Telegraph, the hurricane destroyed the airport with rocks smashing into planes and passenger walkways being sent crashing onto the tarmac.