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French islands take hit from Hurricane Irma

NATASHA BECKLES, [email protected]

French islands take hit from Hurricane Irma

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There were no reports of major damage in Antigua from Hurricane Irma but French islands in the Caribbean seem to have been harder hit.

The BBC reported that buildings were destroyed and there was major flooding on several territories.

French Interior Minister Gérard Collomb said the four “most solid” buildings on St Martin, shared by France and the Netherlands, were destroyed.

Communications between Paris and St Martin and St Barthélemy were down.

The category five hurricane, the highest possible level, has sustained wind speeds reaching 300km/h (185mph).

The French government said several homes were damaged in St Barthélemy and roofs were blown off. There was a complete power blackout. The fire station was said to be under one metre water with firefighters taking refuge on the first floor. 

In St Martin, government offices have been partly destroyed and the island prefect and 23 staff are taking shelter in a concrete-lined room.

The fire station has been damaged and the island has been without electricity since 6 a.m.

Police reported several roofs were blown off. (NB)