Hotels flattened, houses submerged and shipping containers tossed around like Lego blocks: Irma’s deadly path of destruction across the Caribbean is revealed in shocking aerial shots of St Martin

Thursday, September 7, 2017
By Paul Martin

Hurricane Irma has caused ‘enormous damage’ to the Dutch side of the Caribbean island of Saint Martin
Dutch Navy captured shocking aerial images of the storm’s path of destruction over its side of the island
Pictures show how shipping containers have been tossed around and communities left under flood water

7 September 2017

These dramatic aerial pictures show scenes of devastation on a Caribbean island after it was ravaged by the most powerful hurricane the Atlantic has ever seen.

Astonishing images show the scale of the destruction on the island of St. Martin in the aftermath of a direct hit by Category 5 Hurricane Irma.

Video, shot from a Dutch Defense Ministry navy helicopter sent to assess damage Wednesday evening, shows seafront hotels – a mainstay of the Caribbean island’s economy – with their roofs badly damaged, palm trees stripped of fronds and poolside terraces covered in sand.

Streets were largely deserted and littered with debris. At a port area, shipping containers were strewn like children’s building blocks. Elsewhere, yachts were shown jumbled together in a small harbor, some overturned or dumped, upside down, onto the shore.

Irma has caused ‘huge damage’ to St Martin, devastating its airport and port and leaving the Dutch part of the Caribbean island unreachable, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said.

‘Alas, the island is not reachable at this point because of the huge damage to the airport and the harbour,’ Rutte told reporters, though he added there were no reports of deaths on the Dutch side so far. French authorities say at least nine lives have been lost on the French side.

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