After the ravages of Irma, it is hurricane Jose that threatens the West Indies and will interrupt Saturday the rescue in Saint-Barthélemy and Saint-Martin, where the last record shows at least 9 dead and 7 disappeared.
As Hurricane Jose continues on his destructive route to the Caribbean before reaching Florida on Sunday, Hurricane Jose, upgraded to Level 4 on a maximum of 5, is expected to pass Saturday “100 km north of St. Martin” Weather forecast for France.
This will lead to “swells with 5 to 7 meter troughs, heavy storms and wind gusts of up to 130 to 150 km / h”.
Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy have “become hyper vulnerable after the passage of Irma’s eye”, recalls Météo-France, specifying that “the consequences on the islands will depend on the distance from the center” of Hurricane Jose .
A new test for the population, not necessarily informed and still shocked when there is still much debris in the streets, fragile houses and homeless people.
The region’s prefecture has asked “to return to the safest shelters before the cyclone passes, and to move away from the coast and flood-prone neighborhoods”.
“We are a bit fatalistic because we have experienced something extraordinary with Irma,” summarizes Olivier Toussaint, installed in Saint-Barthélemy.
“There is a lot of solidarity, people are being accommodated in each other and it is the D system and mutual aid that prevail,” says Valentine Autruffe, AFP correspondent on the island.
Overseas Minister Annick Girardin was to leave on Friday evening for Saint Martin to be during the passage of Jose “at the sides simply of the populations, but also of all the forces of order that are on the spot, civil servants mobilized “.
Relief is launched against the clock before the arrival of the new hurricane, which is expected to paralyze air routes on Saturday, with maritime links already suspended. The aerial rotations “are primarily assigned to the dispatch of relief, law enforcement and food,” said the regional prefecture.
“900 people are deployed – or undergoing deployment – on the spot: 300 firefighters, 65 technicians and engineers of EDF, 74 engineers specializing in crises, 400 mobile gendarmes and about thirty health workers,” says -she.
“Emergency power” has been restored in Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy, supplying the hospitals of the two islands devastated by Hurricane Irma, said EDF on Friday.
In the town of Marigot, capital of Saint-Martin, AFP found that the roofs are punctured, scrap metal, scrap metal and plants litter the ground, roads are still slightly flooded. But clearing is going on in places. The population clears obstacles, saws the trees, makes lots of branches.
– arrested looters –
This chaos benefits the plunderers: several testimonies gathered on the spot have reported stolen stores after the devastating passage of the hurricane.
Interior Minister Gérard Collomb said at midday that the “number one priority is always to rescue populations and restore order”, because after the cyclone “a number of people scenes of looting “.
Two men, including a Border Police Security Assistant, were arrested on the island of St. Martin, plundering nautical equipment.
The cyclone, which remained three days in category 5 – the maximum on the hurricane intensity scale – before being demoted to category 4 on Friday, caused at least nine deaths, seven missing and 112 wounded in the two islands, according to the latest report given at midday by Mr. Collomb.
This brings to 18 the total number of people killed in the Caribbean: in addition to the nine in the French part of Saint Martin, there are four people in the US Virgin Islands, two in Puerto Rico, two in the Dutch part of Saint-Martin, one in Barbuda.
Of the 112 injured people listed by the French authorities, about fifteen were dispatched from Thursday evening to the CHU of Guadeloupe, including “victims of physical trauma”, cranial, orthopedic, limbs, or “a woman who had given birth during or after the hurricane “of a premature little girl, according to Patrick Portecop, director of the Samu in Guadeloupe.
– Florida prepares –
The hurricane is traveling to the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic where gusts of 285 km / h were recorded Thursday, Cuba and Florida, according to the American NHC.
In Cuba, more than 10,000 tourists have been ordered to leave their hotels or residences.
In Florida, where Irma is expected Sunday morning and home to more than 20 million people, all residents “should prepare to evacuate soon,” according to Governor Rick Scott.
Until now, more than one million people were subject to mandatory evacuation orders in Florida and neighboring Georgia.
In Puerto Rico, more than half of the 3 million people are now without electricity, shelters have been opened that can accommodate up to 62,000 people. Part of Haiti is under water and 19,000 people have been evacuated to the Dominican Republic.