Natural disasters don’t exactly bring out the best in people. But sometimes they do bring people together. However, stories indicate they haven’t exactly brought out the best in people who have been adversely affected by the hurricanes in the Caribbean islands. Somewhat similar to what people did during Hurricane Katrina over ten years ago.
The Daily Mail reported the following,
“Worrying reports of erupting violence have emerged from St Maarten, the southern half of the Caribbean Island it shares with St Martin, in the wake of Hurricane Irma.
Several people who are stranded on the island say looters have begun raiding hotel rooms and homes to profit from the natural disaster.One woman claimed they attacked US and British tourists who became stranded when say some who have spoken to relatives on the island. Troops were called in on Friday to offset the problem.
Massimiliano Napoliello, the manager of a bar in Maho Beach, issued a desperate plea for help on Facebook.’The situation in SXM is a HELL! NO WATER NO FOOD NO ELECTRICITY NO COMMUNICATION!! ‘They are completely isolated and there are CRIMINALS carrying GUNS AND KNIVES SHOOTING and looting all over!! NOTHING IS WORKING, THERE ARE NO RULES, THERE IS NO LAW AND NO PROTECTION RIGHT NOW!!’ he said. At the Simpson Bay Resort and Marina, looters went in to unoccupied rooms to steal TVs, one staff member said on Twitter.
Look here at some of the pictures from the hurricane.
‘A small minority of sxm-er’s were looting our unoccupied rooms until the Dutch military arrived. Not essentials – taking TV’s,’ he said. The same man said a bank was robbed the next day. Laura Conroy’s family were stranded on the island and are now awaiting rescue from US military planes. They are taking American citizens to the more developed Puerto Rico.
She said that through the intermittent contact she has had with her sister, she learned that looting was a problem. ‘Many US citizens are being attacked and robbed,’ she told DailyMail.com.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte warned the situation was already ‘serious’ and made worse by communication problems after 185mph Irma laid waste to infrastructure. Witnesses on the Dutch side of the island say people are roaming the streets armed with ‘revolvers and machetes’ while Rutte said most people are surviving without power and running water. Extra troops and police are arriving on the southern part of the island, which is shared between France and the Netherlands, and part of their job is to help keep order, officials said.
Up to 95 per cent of the island was destroyed as the hurricane pummeled its shores on Wednesday. The badly damaged airport and port have now ‘been opened for military purposes,’ Rutte told reporters, adding ‘we are doing everything possible to get aid to the area.’He said food, water and security were the priorities on the island, known in Dutch as Sint Maarten.’We will not abandon Sint Maarten,’ he said, adding that officials were also sending medicines, tents, tarpaulins and hygiene kits as fast as possible to the Caribbean.
‘The military has two tasks after arriving there. Firstly to ensure that there is food and water, but also to ensure security,’ Rutte said.
‘There are people on the streets armed with revolvers and machetes,’ one witness told the Dutch newspaper AD on Friday. ‘The situation is very serious. No one is in charge.’Dutch officials have confirmed that one person was killed on the Dutch part of Saint Martin by the Category Five storm, before it was downgraded early Friday to a four as it barrelled towards Cuba and Florida. Earlier today it emerged that Dutch King Willem-Alexander will fly to the Caribbean to inspect the coordination of relief efforts.
The Royal House announced the visit Friday, saying the monarch will assess in Curacao ‘whether and when it is possible to visit St. Maarten’ and nearby Dutch islands Saba and St. Eustatius, which were less severely damaged by Irma’s winds. A headquarters in Curacao is helping coordinate a military operation to deliver supplies to the 40,000-strong population of St. Maarten. The tiny country, which shares an island with the French territory of St. Martin, has been autonomous since 2010, but remains part of the Dutch commonwealth.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte says that most people are surviving on the island without the basic necessities of life. Power, running water and most communications were knocked out by the powerful storm and looting has been reported by local authorities struggling to keep control of the island. He said the first plane already has landed at the airport in the capital, Philipsburg, and navy vessels have unloaded vital supplies in a race against time before the next storm arrives.
Hurricane Jose is forecast to pass through the region Saturday, but Rutte says it’s not expected – at the moment – to directly hit St. Maarten as Irma did Wednesday and winds will likely be significantly weaker. Rutte and Interior Minister Ronald Plasterk say troops are helping stretched local authorities on the autonomous territory to uphold law and order amid looting of stores. St. Maarten is the Dutch side of St. Martin, an island split between Dutch and French control. ‘Save us from HELL’: British man describes chaos as armed looters smash into stores.
A British man has spoken of the ‘hell’ left in the wake of Hurricane Irma. Martin Lucas lives and works on the paradise isle of St Martin. But yesterday the piano player described how law and order was breaking down as desperate islanders were trying to survive. He said locals armed with machetes were smashing into shops and apartments to find food and water.
Martin, from St Columb, Cornwall, said: ‘I’m okay but I’ve had better days. I haven’t been able to eat properly, drink properly, wash for four days now. The whole island has now power, water, toilet facilities.’We’ve now got a breakdown in law and order. People with machetes breaking into shops and apartments taking what they need. It is a very violent and dangerous place.'”
Here are some of the social media updates people were giving during the storm.
When natural disasters such as these occur, it is a time that tests the moral character of a city as well as a nation. Do people take it as an opportunity to come together or rip each other apart and steal from one another? We saw it during 9/11 and we saw it during Hurricane Katrina. Hurricane Harvey even showed us there is goodness in humanity.
But this story is simply saddening. In a time of such political division in our nation, this could have been an opportunity for people to come together but these individuals did the opposite. Texas should be proud of themselves for the character they showed they have and continue to have as they recover. God bless all those who have been negatively affected.
FOLLOW us on Facebook at Freedom Daily!