Messages from the Prime Minister of St Maarten

Sunset Beach Bar after the #StMaarten storm

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Messages from the Prime Minister of St Maarten

By Sonja van der Drift

Messages from the Prime Minister of St Maarten on September 17
St Maarten – Prime Minister The Honorable William Marlin of Sint Maarten releases the following briefing on the infrastructure, along with words of thanks. Please note that all was current at press time and is subject to change as work and talks progress.

Main roads are cleared and work continues on inner roads to the districts.

Several districts have received electricity and water thus far. Emphasis and priority is being placed
in this regard also for the schools to receive the same.

Major telecommunication services including TELEM and UTS is functioning, however with some
sporadic service. It is recommended to download WhatsApp on your smart phone if at all possible
for quick communication, as SMS is taking much longer to go through.

Cable television provider is not operational, however streaming via Internet is up and running.

Two major radio stations are operational: PJD2 (102.7 FM) and Laser (101.1 FM). Indications from
the regulatory body, Bureau Telecommunication is that early next week other radio stations will
soon be broadcasting.

Several grocery stores are open within the curfew, and more are opening on an ongoing basis to
service the community. Please report price gauging to

Gasoline stations were allowed to be open within the curfew, providing service to emergency
vehicles and the general population.

The curfew between Sint Maarten and Saint Martin has been synchronized. Authorities from both
governments have agreed that effective Sunday, September 17, 2017, non-emergency pass holders
are prohibited from being on the streets between 7:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. local time until further
notice. Emergency pass holders are defined persons holding valid disaster team passes from Sint
Maarten or Saint Martin. Though checkpoints will be at all borders, this does not prohibit the free
movement between each side of the island, but it will enhance the protection of the citizens on the
island and of course, provide ease of transportation for residents and family and friends during this
difficult time to both sides of the island.

Efforts are being made in each district of the island on a daily basis to provide food and supplies to
the population. As indicated by the Police Force of Sint Maarten, this is progressing well without

In support of coordination, USAR.NL collects requests from local disaster management and donor
offerings in the Coordination Center of the Government of Sint Maarten. In this Coordination
Center, USAR.NL and local volunteers work together with government employees and
communication staff. In cooperation with the local government, priorities are set and the offer is
tailored to the demand. To provide or receive aid, persons or organizations can use the email

The government of Sint Maarten is extremely grateful for the support of the people of the Netherlands. Yesterday, a total of €13,3 million was raised in the Netherlands during the day-long national event ‘Nederland helpt Sint Maarten’ telethon. The funding will go towards those that were impacted by the disastrous Hurricane Irma. Prime Minister, William Marlin endorses the response of Red Cross director Mr. Gijs de Vries: “What a great day and great return. The Netherlands is now shoulder to shoulder for the victims of this devastating hurricane.” Prime Minister reacts that he was immensely touched and moved when he heard that Dutch children had emptied their piggy bank to be able to donate to the hurricane victims on Sint Maarten. It is an unprecedented outpouring of support in the face of disaster.

“This funding will allow us to serve our community with the reconstruction and rebuilding that our country needs”, the Prime Minister declared. “With it, we can get the people of Sint Maarten back into their homes and back to work. The support will provide essential materials, supplies and services to our community. It will aid our disaster relief efforts and support the good work of our relief organizations in helping to rebuild our nation. We are proud of their tireless dedication and work they are putting in to help those affected.

Together with the Red Cross and other expert organizations priorities will be set on how to spend to-be-received funds. “We are focused on getting our country back on its feet. We thank the generous citizens in the Netherlands and will never forget their generosity and their continuous support to our community in our time of need. It is testimony of the bond we have.”

The Princess Juliana International Airport is receiving cargo flights and humanitarian flights.
Commercial flights are not being authorized at this time, however we realize that many individuals
do need to come to the island to assess property and see family. We will be updating on this soon.

The Port Facilities of Sint Maarten received some damage but cruise ships and cargo vessels
conducting humanitarian efforts are docking at the port and assisting in taking persons to other

Sint Maarten Medical Center received damage during the storm but is operational. The Lab services
(SLS) are also up and running. General practitioners and pharmacies are open daily to the public on
a rotating schedule.

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About The Author
Sonja van der Drift

Travel consultant for BlueOceanVillas LLC. I have been facilitating vacation villa rental services on the Friendly Island for more then 22 years. I have personal and local knowledge of the Island and 95% of all vacation villas we promote on the Island of St Martin and St Maarten.