Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Hurricane-hit St Martin takes first steps to rebuild
By SÚverine ROUBY
Marigot (AFP) Sept 17, 2017


Almost two weeks after Hurricane Irma slammed into St Martin, killing 15 people, the French-Dutch Caribbean island has begun to take small steps toward reconstruction.

Out on the roads, soldiers and volunteers work side by side to clear debris clogging the streets, stocking branches, metal sheets and other rubble in long piles along the embankment.

In the particularly hard-hit town of Grand Case, near the island's northern tip, firefighters are busy repairing wrecked roofs, while a few miles away, soldiers appraise the damage to a school.

Government officials want the school to open for classes on Tuesday, but whether it will be able to is another matter.

"We are still in an emergency situation but rebuilding is also in the back of our minds," Guadeloupe's governor Eric Maire said during a visit to the island. "We are beginning to get some administrative services back online".

Maire said more public officials would be sent to the island, home to some 35,000 people, to help with administrative and other tasks.

But already, signs that rebuilding is now a primary focus of the French government are everywhere.

- Bathing in the ocean -

Petrol stations that once held empty tanks are now again open for business.

Utility workers have fanned across the island to get electricity back to every household. By Sunday, a third of homes already had their power back on, Maire said, and the electricity company said the rest would have it back within a week, either through the main electricity grid or via a generator.

And those residents and tourists who had requested to evacuate have been able to leave, thanks to now-operational air and sea networks.

"Not everything has been restored," Maire cautioned. "Our main problem is to re-establish access to running water".

Except for the few lucky ones with water tanks, nearly all residents have been unable to take a shower, do dishes or use their toilets.

The island's desalination plant -- the only way to produce drinking water in the absence of freshwater -- is out of commission until at least next week, and will run at just 20 percent capacity once it has been repaired, said comptroller general Patrick Bautheac.

Bautheac expects the plant to be fully operational by early October, though he cautioned that much of the plant's equipment had deteriorated over the years.

"We wash ourselves with bottled water but it's not very economical," a young soldier sent from Martinique told AFP. "Or we wash in the ocean".

- 'Long-term endeavour' -

In the meantime, the island will have access to a mobile plant being brought by the French utility company Veolia. On its way from Spain, it should be up and running by the middle of next week, according to Bautheac.

Once it is functioning, the island will be able to produce up to 1,700 cubic metres (374,000 gallons) of water a day, Bautheac said -- though peak consumption for the island is about 5,000 cubic metres a day.

"It is a long-term endeavour," Bautheac said.

In the hurricane's aftermath, authorities have been distributing daily water at appointed hours of the day to help with the problem.

Residents either queue at fixed locations or meet aid trucks that crisscross the island to distribute food supplies and water.

"It's a matter of reaching people where they are," Maire said. "We are going to put in place local teams with the Red Cross to share information and also gather what residents need".

On the security front, the large presence of security forces seems to have dealt with the early reports of looting and lawlessness -- and has reassured residents.

The government and humanitarian groups may also open school halls and temporary shelters to those who lost their homes.

sr/mat/su/js

VEOLIA ENVIRONNEMENT

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Irma saw no borders on devastated French-Dutch island
Philipsburg, Netherlands (AFP) Sept 14, 2017
People on the Dutch side of Saint Martin, the Caribbean island devastated by Hurricane Irma, may be wealthier than their French counterparts, but they face the same desolation and lawlessness in its wake. "Come on in, buddy. There's lots of stuff here, even sunglasses," an islander beckons, helping herself to cosmetics at one of the beachfront duty free stores in the tropical shopping paradi ... read more

Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
A world of storm and tempest
When the Earth Quakes


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
America asks: How did eight people die in Florida nursing home?

Trump views flooding's aftermath in hurricane-ravaged Florida

France's hurricane-hit St Martin on guard for health threats

Russia plays up role as peacemaker, donor in Syria

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
New microscopy method for quick and reliable 3-D imaging of curvilinear nanostructures

Chinese video site offers virtual escape from 'boring' reality

Chinese video site offers virtual escape from 'boring' reality

Molecules move faster near sticky surfaces

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
130-tonne 'monster fatberg' clogs London sewer

Old fish are rare in today's heavily fished oceans

NASA team find evidence of sea level 'fingerprints'

Man-made reefs: A compelling diving alternative

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Study shows Arctic sea ice continues to melt considerably

Reindeer grazing protects tundra plant diversity in a warming climate

Warm Antarctic caves harbour secret life: scientists

Ancient tree exposes cause of hike in Arctic temperature

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Foodies cheesed off as China says 'non' to France's finest

EU chamber urges China to lift cheese ban

Parched Jordan starts growing vegetables in

Research finds roots use chemical 'photos' to coordinate growth

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Niger floods leave at least 54 dead, 200,000 displaced

Norma weakens near Mexican resort, Maria threatens Caribbean

Niger flooding kills 50, displaces over 100,000 since June

Three dead as Typhoon Doksuri lashes central Vietnam

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Pro-Biafra supporters clash with Nigerian troops

HRW accuses Mali, Burkina troops of sweeping rights abuses

DRCongo troops chasing reporter 'force entry' at UN base

Angolans vote as Dos Santos ends 38-year rule

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Large-scale study of genetic data shows humans still evolving

Groups are more likely to lie than individuals, new study shows

Human settlement in the Americas may have occurred in the late Pleistocene

Humans are still evolving, study suggests




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement