Famous airport ravaged by Hurricane Irma

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Famous airport ravaged by Hurricane Irma

View of the aftermath of Hurricane Irma on Sint Maarten Dutch part of Saint Martin island in the Carribean on 7 September 2017.

Two days after hurricane Irma swept over the eastern part of region, devastating thousands of homes, some islands braced for a second battering from hurricane Jose this weekend. "Remember Hurricane Andrew [in 1992] was one of the worst storms in the history of Florida".

Collomb said the island's "four most solid buildings" on the island had been destroyed and that more rustic structures were probably "completely or partially destroyed".

While he estimated that "perhaps 60 to 70 percent" of residential properties on St. Martin were destroyed, Mr. Gibbs, who is on the island, was more pessimistic.

While the landing strips appeared to be intact, the Dutch navy said the airport is "unreachable" for now.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Saturday issued a stern warning to looters on the storm-ravaged Caribbean island of St Martin, saying police and troops would crack down on pillaging.

On the Dutch side of the island, one person died and several others were wounded, officials said.

Irma knocked out electricity and mobile phone networks, and cleanup and reconstruction efforts are expected to be arduous and expensive.

Aerial photos from St. Martin show the serious damage the popular vacation destination sustained as a result of Hurricane Irma's 185 miles per hour winds.

Two Royal Dutch Marine ships were also in the area.

He called on the Dutch public to donate to a special fund set up by the Dutch Red Cross.

About 200 Dutch soldiers have now arrived on the island, which is divided between France and The Netherlands, to help deliver aid and restore order, he added.

Of those wounded, 11 are in critical condition, Interior Minister Ronald Plasterk said at a press conference.

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