THE HAGUE, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- Dutch King Willem-Alexander will fly to Curacao on Sunday, accompanied by Minister Ronald Plasterk of Interior and Kingdom Relations, to get informed on the aid for the Caribbean islands of Sint Maarten, Saba and Sint Eustatius, affected by hurricane Irma, the Netherlands Government Information Service (RVD) announced on Friday.
The mentioned islands are part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and were hit by the hurricane on Wednesday. Irma, the extremely powerful storm which sustained a maximum wind speed of around 250 kilometers per hour, left a trail of destruction across the Caribbean.
Especially the damage on Sint Maarten is enormous. So far the Dutch authorities reported one death and several wounded on the Dutch part of Sint Maarten.
After his arrival in Curacao, the King will also try to visit the disaster areas if and when possible. On Thursday two Royal Air Force military transport planes already departed from the military airport Eindhoven towards the area for extra aid and military personnel. In addition, the planes carried water and food, to provide around 40,000 people for five days.
On Sint Maarten infrastructure is destructed, the airport is destroyed and residents do not have flowing water. There is an urgent need for help. The soldiers can also be used to restore public order, after reports of looting and chaos.
Irma also caused devastation on the French part of the island Sint Maarten, Saint-Martin, and on other Caribbean islands like the British dual-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda. The Dutch authorities work closely with their colleagues from Britain and France.