Published On: Tue, Sep 12th, 2017

King in St. Maarten: This goes beyond all imagination

KingSXMPHILIPSBURG - King Willem-Alexander and Minister Plasterk of Kingdom Relations are shocked by the magnitude of the damage in St. Maarten. “This goes beyond all imagination,” said the King when he visited the island. “Everywhere you look, you see destruction, and you see resentment.”

The damage on the island is huge. About 70 percent of the homes are severely damaged or partially collapsed. There are people who have nothing more. No roof over their heads, no clothes at all.

King Willem-Alexander: “From the plane, I saw it already: I have not seen this before. I have seen a lot of natural disasters and war violence in my life, but I have never seen this.”

Nevertheless, the population is working already, says the King. “You see that people are working hard to clean up everything and that says; we’re together, shoulder to shoulder, we're going to build the island again. There's faith in the future.”

The king was guided around and assisted by caregivers. He also spoke to the islanders himself. "It has been very useful to see for myself how terrible this storm has been, and to show to the people of St. Maarten, the Governor and the Prime Minister that we are together as a Kingdom. And that we will solve this together.”

Certainly, reconstruction will cost a lot of money. The other two Leeward Islands, Saba and St. Eustatius have suffered less. The King and Minister Plasterk are going to visit there today. Tonight they fly back to the Netherlands.

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