SINT MAARTEN/CURACAO – Dutch military personnel as well disaster supplies and materials from Dutch military units based in the Caribbean on the islands of Curacao and Aruba, have left those two islands on their way to Sint Maarten, Saba, and St. Eustatius (SSS Islands) to provide emergency assistance due to Hurricane Irma that will pass through the Northern Leeward Islands on Tuesday night into Wednesday.
The Island Governors of Saba and St. Eustatius have requested assistance from the Dutch Government which has been granted. The Sint Maarten Government also requested assistance – precautionary measure - and a battalion of 80 Marines arrived on the island on Monday to be pre-positioned prior to the arrival of Hurricane Irma.
The Marines arrived with the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard DASH-8 aircraft and are from the 32nd Raiding Squadron from Aruba and complemented with personnel from the Aruba Militia.
The Marines and Aruba Militia have been divided over the three SSS islands. They will be manning Hurricane Shelters as well assist the local Police Forces and Disaster Management organizations.
Two Dutch naval vessels are on their way with additional resources such as specialized personnel, trucks, and disaster relief materials. The vessels are the Zr. Ms. Zeeland and Zr. Ms. Pelikaan, and will arrive in two days in the area of the SSS islands. Once sea conditions become calm, the vessels will dock and offload their personnel and equipment.
A unit from the Dutch Army Company West (CIDW) and the Curacao Militia are on-board the Pelikaan.
The additional resources and personnel will go towards immediate disaster relief and recovery assistance.
SOUALIGA NEWSDAY REPORT
Dutch Naval Vessel Zeeland
Dutch Naval Vessel Pelikaan (right above)