Hurricane Irma turns Caribbean island paradises into nightmares


ST JOHN’S: The leeward islands are small, remote and beautiful, with blue waters and ocean breezes that attract tourists from all over the world.

The wild isolation that made the holiday paradises of St. Bartholomew, St. Martin, Anguilla and the Virgin Islands have turned them into chaotic nightmares and cut after Hurricane Irma, which left 22 dead, mostly in the Leeward Islands. The looting and anarchy were denounced yesterday by the French and Dutch authorities, who were sending additional troops to restore order.

The Category 5 storm broke the islands’ fragile links with the outside world with a direct hit on Wednesday, hitting its small airports, beheading mobile phone towers, filling harbors with crushed and overturned boats and leaving thousands of tourists and locals desperate to escape.

The situation worsened on Saturday with the approval of category 4 of Hurricane Jose, which closed the airports and stopped the traffic of emergency boats during the weekend.

Looting, shooting and lack of potable water were reported in the French Caribbean territory of St Martin, home to five-star resorts and a multi-million dollar property owned by President Donald Trump.

Federal officials deployed C-130 to evacuate US citizens from the French Caribbean island of San Martin to Puerto Rico. Almost 160 were evacuated on Friday and about 700 more yesterday.