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Among Irma’s victims, one of the world’s most famous airports

Hurricane Irma expected to hit mainland US over the weekend

Hurricane Irma continues on a path towards the US, having already battered a number of Caribbean islands and killing at least 22 people.


Irma battering the northern Caribbean (Image Alvin Baez/Reuters)


One of the most powerful Atlantic storms in the last century, Irma has forced the unprecedented emergency evacuation of millions of residents from the Florida Gulf Coast, the biggest exercise of its kind in US history.


As well as devastating winds, an American storm surge watch has warned of potentially life-threatening levels of water, the Washington Post reported.


Originally accused of price gouging fares out of the region, major airlines are now promising to cap some one-way fares out of the state.



Among the places already ravaged by Irma is Princess Juliana Airport on the island of St. Martin, which is famous for its landings and take-offs over adjacent Maho Beach. According to The Associated Press, the airport was “hit hard, with what appeared to be sand washed up to parts of the main terminal and the building's roof extensively damaged”.


Images on social media show the devastation at the airport, with severe damage inside the terminal, including at check-in counters, USA Today reported. Remnants of a jet bridge can also be seen. 



The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has told Australians in the area to contact their airline or tour operator to check if tourist services have been affected.


It also warns that the potentially catastrophic Category 5 Hurricane could impact other parts of the south-eastern United States and the eastern seaboard beyond Florida.


Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 8 September 2017

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