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NV GEBE Discussing Relief. Simpson Bay Branch to Open Next Week

PHILIPSBURG – At Thursday’s NV GEBEs press conference, the company disclosed that some preliminary discussions have taken place with respect to some form of relief or grace period for its customers.

Further lengthy discussions need to take place before any decision is taken.  The company has to look at current damages to its facilities as well as grid; lost customers due to damaged homes; as well as monthly operational costs and future investment needs, before any form of relief could be decided upon.

NV GEBE’s Management Team stated that its Simpson Bay Branch Office would open next week allowing customers to come in and make their monthly bill payments.  The customer service section will also be open for other services that the company provides.

Due to the damage at its Philipsburg Office, the company is looking for another location in order to provide services to customers.



Police continues to arrest curfew violators

PHILIPSBURG - As the situation begins to normalize on the island of Sint Maarten and curfews issued during the evening hours, persons continue to violate this law and venture out on the streets without a hurricane pass.

Between Wednesday September 20th and Thursday September 21st a total of 10 persons were arrested for the violation of the curfew. Three females in the group are also residing illegal on the island.

All persons were taken to the Philipsburg Headquarters were they will be processed and brought before the Prosecutor who will decide on how to further deal with these cases.

The policed department continues to warn the community, not to venture out on the public roads during the curfew. The department has been receiving reports of small snack bars at various locations on the island remain open for business to the public with their doors closed during the curfew.

Any business open to the public during this period is also in violation of the curfew. The owner/manager of this business caught open during this period will be held accountable for his/her actions.

Curfews should be respected and followed at all times. (Sint Maarten Police Force)


Dutch & French Authorities meet to synchronize curfew between both sides

POND ISLAND - On Friday, September 15, the French authorities, represented by the Prefet Madame Anne Laubies and President Daniel Gibbs met with the Governor, drs. Eugene Holiday, and the Council of Ministers of Sint Maarten to discuss the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

The meeting continued with the Governor and a delegation of the Council of Ministers consisting of the Prime Minister, Mr. William Marlin, and Minister of Justice, Mr. Rafael Boasman, on Saturday afternoon, September 16.

The curfew between Sint Maarten and Saint Martin, which was the source of misunderstandings was synchronized.  Authorities agreed that effective Sunday, September 17, 2017, non-emergency pass holders are prohibited from being on the streets between 7:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. until further notice. Emergency pass holders are defined as follows:

  • - Persons holding valid disaster team passes from Sint Maarten;
  • - Persons holding valid passes with permission to circulate from Saint Martin.

Though checkpoints will be at all borders, this does not prohibit the free movement between each side of the island, but it will enhance the protection of the citizens on the island. Further evaluation of the adjusted curfew hours, will take place during a meeting to be continued on Wednesday, September 20. 

Protocols on the communication procedures before and after a disaster between each side of the islands were also established, which includes a backup system in the event all means of telecommunication fall out.

Both parties were satisfied with the outcome of the meetings and will continue to meet on a regular basis to ensure the rebuilding and overall redevelopment of the island Sint Maarten / Saint Martin will be as quick as possible. 


Spirit Airlines to bring Sint Maarten residents home on Friday

PHILIPSBURG – Notice to all Sint Maarten residents: The management of Spirit Airlines, has planned a flight to Sint Maarten that will bring residents of Sint Maarten who are stranded and would like to return home from the United States of America.

Residents with a Dutch passport or a valid Resident and / or Work Permit will be allowed to return to Sint Maarten.

The Spirit Airlines flight will depart Fort Lauderdale on Friday, September 22 at 9 am and will arrive in Sint Maarten at 12 noon. Travelers need to report at the airport for 6 am. Reservations are based on first come first serve basis.

Furthermore, all US Passport and Green Card holders will be allowed to return to the US on this flight, which departs at 2 pm.

Interested persons should take note that Spirit Airlines will provide a phone number tomorrow September 21st to which persons can call. An incorrect number was previously issued, we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.


Seven (7) Hurricane Shelters Open as of Monday 5.00 PM

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – Hurricane Maria is forecast to become a major system when it passes approximately 90 miles south of Sint Maarten on Tuesday.

The country is currently under a Tropical Storm Watch at the issuing of this bulletin/press release. 

Residents should complete hurricane preparations by the end of the day on Monday, September 18, and this should include a plan of action with respect to where a person would stay prior to the passing of the hurricane if they feel unsafe in their home.

Use the opportunity now to make arrangements with family or friends as this is part of an individual’s responsibility. 

At the same time, review your Hurricane Supply Kit which should contain your identity documents (e.g. Passport, ID Card, Driver’s License, SZV Card), non-perishable food, water, medication, flashlight, battery operated radio, and insurance documents. These should be placed in a ready-to-go bag when staying with family or friends.

For those whose home structure is not good, seven (7) shelters will be open as of 5.00 PM Monday afternoon.

Be responsible, be prepared!

Seven (7) Hurricane Shelters: The list of hurricane shelters is:

St. Maarten Academy School Gym (St. Peters);

Dutch Quarter Community Center (Dutch Quarter);

Belvedere Primary School (Belvedere);

National Institute for Professional Advancement (NIPA, Cay Hill);

Leonard Connor School (Cay Bay);

MAC School, (St. John’s Estate);

Little League Ball Park, (Pond Island);


Port St. Maarten Ceases Cargo Operations as of 6.00 PM on Monday

PORT ST. MAARTEN – Port St. Maarten will cease cargo operations as of 6.00 PM on Monday, September 18.

Personnel at the port have activated their hurricane preparations plans in order to protect the facility, cargo and buildings due to the approach of Hurricane Maria.

After Hurricane Maria has passed to the south of the country, an assessment will be carried out by port officials with respect to the sea state.  

Once sea conditions subside, regular operations at the cargo quays will continue in connection with the import of relief supplies.


Man arrested for looting

PHILIPSBURG - On Thursday September 14th in the evening hours police arrested one male suspect identified with initials M.I. for looting.

During his arrest, a large quantity of stolen items was found in his possession. These items were all confiscated for further investigation.

The suspect was taken to the Philipsburg Police Headquarters where he was placed into custody for further investigation. (Sint Maarten Police Force)


Nature Foundation Issues Warnings

COLE BAY – The Nature Foundation warned that fishing along the coasts, should be avoided due to contaminated water run-off. 

Persons should avoid fishing in the Great Salt Pond.

The foundation also advises to avoid swimming at the various beaches due to hurricane debris that may be lodged in the sand or under the water along the shore.  For those who still take the chance to swim, they should do so with caution.

The Nature Foundation has also asked the community not to burn garbage, and that this is illegal under current regulations and laws.

The foundation also carried out a survey and stated that approximately 97 per cent of the countries vegetation has been blown away, adding that semblance of green flora and fauna are coming back.


Kingdom Council of Ministers meets about hurricane Irma

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – On September 12, the Kingdom Council of Ministers met to talk about the current situation on the islands of St. Maarten, Saba and St. Eustatius, which have been hard hit by hurricane Irma.

In the Kingdom Council of Ministers maintaining law and order and the emergency relief to the three islands were discussed.

This involves first of all the distribution of basic necessities (food and water) and emergency supplies for people who have no roof over their heads, recovery of vital infrastructure and healthcare (prevention of outbreak of infectious diseases and restoration of the hospital on St. Maarten.

There were also talks about what is needed in the coming period to once again restore public life on the three islands as good as possible. Dutch teams were sent to St. Maarten, Saba and St. Eustatius, who together with local authorities and aid workers are mapping what is necessary.

The Netherlands, Curaçao and Aruba are doing what is within their means to provide relief. In the Kingdom Council of Ministers was established and underlined that the countries of the Kingdom lends each other help and assistance in accordance with the provision in the Statute of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Also, thanks were expressed to marines, officers, aid workers and volunteers from the different countries and parts of the Kingdom for their efforts.

In the Kingdom Council of Ministers are seated the Dutch Ministers and Plenipotentiary Ministers of the other autonomous countries within the Kingdom: Curaçao, Aruba and St. Maarten.

Saba and St. Eustatius, as well as Bonaire have the status of Public Entity within the country the Netherlands and fall under the Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)


Mandatory Meeting for Friday for Depts. and Divisions of Ministry ECYS

PHILIPSBURG - The Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport (Ministry ECYS), the Honorable Silveria Jacobs, is requesting all Management and Staff of the following departments and divisions to attend a mandatory meeting tomorrow at the New Government Building for 11:00 a.m.

Department of Education
Department of Sports
Department of Youth
Department of Culture
Division Public Education
Division Study financing
Division Educational Innovation (DEI)
Student Support Services Division (SSSD)
Division of Exams

Lastly, we are requesting Ms. Francetta Schoe to contact the Acting Head of the Department of Education, urgently.

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