70 percent of St. Maarten homes badly damaged by Irma

An aerial photograph taken by the Dutch Ministry of Defence shows the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma in Philipsburg, on the Dutch Caribbean island of St. Maarten. Photo Date: 9/7/17
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PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten (AP) - The Dutch government estimates 70 percent of houses on St. Maarten were badly damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Irma. That leaves many of the 40,000 residents reliant on public shelters as they brace for Hurricane Jose.

Interior Minister Ronald Plasterk said Saturday that Jose is forecast to track northwest of St. Maarten and will likely dump a lot of rain on buildings, many of which had roofs torn off by Irma.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the situation remains "grim" on the island where widespread looting has broken out.

Rutte says there are some 230 Dutch troops and police patrolling St. Maarten and a further 200 will arrive in coming days. Rutte issued a warning to looters that the troops and police will clamp down hard to end the lawlessness.



 
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