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St. Martin ’s Residents Are Struggling With Desperate Conditions in the Wake of Hurricane Irma

(PHILIPSBURG, St. Martin) — Dominga Tejera picked her way around fallen palm trees rotting in mud as she returned home after a nine-hour workday as a hospital janitor on a Caribbean island that until recently seemed like paradise. She collapsed into a small plastic chair that has served as a makeshift bed since Hurricane Irma ripped the roof from her home as it pummeled St. Martin as a Category 5 storm. “It’s sad when you come home to this,” she said as she began to cry. “You try to stay strong in public, but once inside, you break.” Hundreds of people across an island shared by Dutch St. Martin and French St. Martin are trying to rebuild the lives they had before the hurricane hit, celebrating little things like a rare evening breeze that clears the stifling air amid a widespread power outage and laughing as a radio announcer cheerfully announces, “The dentist is open!” But many like Tejera are struggling to maintain a semblance of the life they had before Irma as they fight off hunger and thirst. “There’s no food here. There’s no water here,” said 70-year-old Germania Perez. Help was making it to the island, from the Dutch and French governments, other nations and private organizations. A French military ship with supplies was due to arrive Tuesday, coinciding with a visit by French President Emmanuel Macron. Hundreds of tourists are still trying to leave the island, with dozens lining up outside the P...
Source: TIME.com: Top Science and Health Stories - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized carribean hurricane irma onetime St. Martin Source Type: news

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