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Saint Martin 'on verge of civil war' as violence escalates in wake of Hurricane Irma

Residents on Saint Martin have spoke of their fear that the island will descend into civil war as looting and rioting continues in the ...



Residents on Saint Martin have spoke of their fear that the island will descend into civil war as looting and rioting continues in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

The island was severely damaged after it was battered by Irma, with the French government believing more than two thirds of the houses on the island have been completely destroyed, with tens of thousands said to be without clean water or electricity.

Mark Rutte, prime minister of the Netherlands, previously announced they will be sending in soldiers and police to deal with the post-storm looting taking place in the wake of the destruction.




Sint Maarten, as it is known in Dutch, is an independent nation within the Kingdom of the Netherlands with a population of around 40,000 people, around the same amount of people living on the French side of the island.

There have also been reports of men armed with machine guns and machetes roaming the streets. Sint Maarten Prime Minister William Marlin said the island is currently under curfew but the looting has "subsided".

Paul De Windt, publisher of The Daily Herald, a newspaper on the Dutch side of the island, said: "There was some looting in the first few days, but the Dutch marines and police are on the street to prevent it.

"Some people steal luxury things and booze, but a lot of people are stealing water and biscuits."

www.ibtimes.co.uk

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