Saturday 23 September 2017

Hurricane Irma kills four on island of Saint Martin

A man stands on the beach as Hurricane Irma slammed across islands in the northern Caribbean on Wednesday, in Luquillo, Puerto Rico September 6, 2017. REUTERS/Alvin Baez
A man stands on the beach as Hurricane Irma slammed across islands in the northern Caribbean on Wednesday, in Luquillo, Puerto Rico September 6, 2017. REUTERS/Alvin Baez
In this geocolor image captured by GOES-16 and released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Hurricane Irma, a potentially catastrophic category 5 hurricane, moves westward, (NOAA via AP)
General view of half-submerged vehicles, boats and debris in the flooded harbour as Hurricane Irma hits the French island territory of Saint Martin September 6, 2017, in this video grab made from footage taken from social media. Mandatory credit RCI GUADELOUPE/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE.
Police patrol the area as Hurricane Irma slams across islands in the northern Caribbean on Wednesday, in San Juan, Puerto Rico September 6, 2017. REUTERS/Alvin Baez
Waves break over a dock as Hurricane Irma slammed across islands in the northern Caribbean on Wednesday, in Fajardo, Puerto Rico September 6, 2017. REUTERS/Alvin Baez
Waves break over a dock as Hurricane Irma slammed across islands in the northern Caribbean on Wednesday, in Fajardo, Puerto Rico September 6, 2017. REUTERS/Alvin Baez
Palm trees buckle under winds and rain as Hurricane Irma slammed across islands in the northern Caribbean on Wednesday, in Fajardo, Puerto Rico September 6, 2017. REUTERS/Alvin Baez
Waves crash against the seawall as Hurricane Irma slammed across islands in the northern Caribbean on Wednesday, in Fajardo, Puerto Rico September 6, 2017. REUTERS/Alvin Baez
General view of half-submerged vehicles, boats and debris in the flooded harbour as Hurricane Irma hits the French island territory of Saint Martin September 6, 2017, in this video grab made from footage taken from social media. Mandatory credit RCI GUADELOUPE/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE.
Waves crash against the seawall as Hurricane Irma slammed across islands in the northern Caribbean on Wednesday, in Fajardo, Puerto Rico September 6, 2017. REUTERS/Alvin Baez

Independnet.ie Newsdesk

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on Thursday said four bodies had been recovered on Saint Martin after Hurricane Irma swept the Caribbean island, revising down an earlier death toll.

With winds of around 175 mph (290 kph), the storm lashed several small islands in the northeast Caribbean, including St Martin and St Barthelemy, tearing down trees, flattening homes and causing widespread damage.

"The death toll is still uncertain because clearing operations are under way," Philippe told a news conference at a crisis centre in Paris. About 50 people have been injured.

"There is considerable damage," Philippe said, adding that local authorities in Saint Martin said 95 percent of the houses there had been damaged, and 60 percent were uninhabitable.

"There is no electricity, no drinkable water, gasoline is unavailable."

Philippe said the government would on Friday declare a state of emergency, facilitating insurance compensation.

He said no bodies had been found on Saint Barthelemy. On Thursday morning, Interior Minister Gerard Collomb had said eight people had been killed on the two islands of Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy.

A government official said later that in the confusion surrounding the hurricane, that figure included people who had died for reasons unrelated to Irma

Reuters

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