Support in preparation for Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom
Hurricane Irma will pass through the Caribbean islands of St. Eustatius, Saba and St. Maarten from Tuesday night through Wednesday afternoon. In connection with Kingdom relations the concerned Ministries are making preparations to support to the islands, limit damage and confront the possible consequences head on.
Almost 100 Dutch soldiers have departed Curaçao and Aruba en route to St. Maarten, St. Eustatius and Saba. In addition, two Navy ships will depart from Curaçao and Aruba in order to deliver extra soldiers and supplies after the passing of Irma. The Netherlands has offered help and support, also help with any possible damage after the passage of the hurricane.
A Weather Impact Team with representatives of the Ministries of Infrastructure and the Environment, Security and Justice, Economic Affairs, Defense and the Interior and Kingdom Relations will concentrate, together with the representatives on the islands, on any further requests for assistance. Minister Plasterk of the Interior and Kingdom Relations has spoken extensively with and maintains contact with Prime Minister Marlin of St. Maarten and through the Kingdom Representative with the authorities in St. Eustatius and Saba.
According to the KNMI (Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute) code red is in force. Irma is now a hurricane of the 5th category.
In the past investments were already made in making the islands resistant for a possible hurricane, so that the damage turns out better than anticipated. For example, many power lines were placed underground and contingency plans are improved.