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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.


Governor calls on nation to be strong and stay safe

PHILIPSBURG – His Excellency Governor Eugene Holiday issued a message on Tuesday to the nation in connection with the approach of Hurricane Irma to the northern Leeward Islands.  

My fellow Sint Maarteners,

Today, September 5th, is a date that will forever be etched in the memory of Sint Maarteners due to hurricane Luis in 1995. On this day in 2017 we are expecting Irma. Looking at the forecasted path of Irma, government has and continues to take measures to prepare our country for the passing of the hurricane and to respond to the effects in its aftermath. 

Our emergency services are as a result working to put everything in place. They are organizing shelters, pumping the pond, cleaning the trenches and more. Meanwhile our police, voluntary corps and coast guards have been reinforced with the military. And across our island I have seen you making preparations. All of which to ensure our readiness.

I pray and hope that we will be spared the worst of the force of Irma’s winds and rain. While we pray and hope for the best, I urge you to heed the advice and directives of government to ensure the protection and safety of yourself, your family, your property and thus our country.

As a people, we have been through hurricanes before. We know the dangers of hurricanes and we know the benefits of preparation and precaution. I therefore urge you not to take any chances during the passing of hurricane Irma. This means that you are to find a safe place before and stay indoors during the passing of the hurricane. And once the hurricane has passed I urge you to follow government’s directions to help ensure an orderly restoration of our daily lives. 

My fellow Sint Maarteners,

As we await Irma’s landfall, I believe that I express the spirit of we the people of Sint Maarten, when I declare that we will overcome this storm. I do so, because of my trust in the boundless strength and resilience of our people thanks to the continued guidance of the almighty God.

In closing, I am confident that as a people we will, as we have in the past, draw from on our collective strength to withstand this storm. And I will in that same spirit of strength keep you in my thoughts and pray for your safety and that of our nation.

Be Strong, Stay safe and may God Bless Sint Maarten and protect our coast.   


TelEm Group offices closed Tuesday until further notice

POND ISLAND - The TelEm Group Hurricane Committee and TelEm Group managers met Monday morning to finalize ongoing hurricane preparedness plans and also to provide information for personnel.

A decision has been taken to close all TelEm Group offices and locations as of 5:00 pm Monday, September 4th, 2017, and all day Tuesday, to allow personnel to make final preparations and to be in their homes for the passing of Hurricane Irma. 

Personnel were further advised to monitor the government radio station (107.9 FM), all radio stations and social media for further instructions on return to the workplace.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mr. Kendall Dupersoy informed Monday’s meeting that there are all indications that Hurricane Irma will be packing some dangerous and fierce winds and personnel should take no chances, stressing that they should remain in their homes and not venture out to deal with company matters unless given the all-clear from their manager or director.

TelEm Group personnel are advised to monitor their radio stations and online media for updates and also to listen regular to the government radio station 107.9 FM for official information about Hurricane Irma and other public and community service information.

Mr. Dupersoy wished everyone a safe passage through what could be some very anxious hours ahead.

“Be SMART and be SAFE,” is his message to TelEm Group personnel and their families and also to the general St. Maarten community.


Kingdom Representative launches iLanders to address brain drain

SABA/ST. EUSTATIUS - During the Day of the Press on Bonaire Kingdom Representative Gilbert Isabella launched iLanders. iLanders is an initiative of the Rijksdienst Caribisch Nederland to motivate young people and professionals with a Caribbean background to live and work on Bonaire, St. Eustatius or Saba.

The Kingdom Representative would like to commit himself to fight against the so-called ' brain drain ' on the Islands. Ambitious young people and professionals who are familiar with the local language and culture are important for the further development of Caribbean Netherlands.

iLanders offers them a networking platform that brings them in contact with each other and with RCN as an employer. The target group will be kept informed about opportunities and possibilities on Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba.

Part of iLanders is offering students of the islands, which are currently outside the Caribbean Netherlands, internships within RCN.  

Students who are following an intermediate vocational education [MBO], a higher vocational education [HBO] or academic program, are welcome to use this internship to get to know the labor market on the Islands and build a professional network.

Apart from an allowance, these iLander-trainees get a roundtrip ticket to the islands.

Interested parties can contact us through This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , check out  or follow iLanders via Linkedin or Facebook.

 iLanders, a unique opportunity for unique people

rcn inside


Pre-Hurricane Irma Preparations and Notices

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – Based on two meetings held on Sunday, an operational and an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) meeting in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Irma, the Office of Disaster Management hereby makes known the following:


St. Maarten Medical Center

The St. Maarten Medical Center on Sunday announced that scheduled operations for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday will be postponed.

Small daycare procedures at the Hospital will be decided upon by a per case basis and patients will be informed accordingly.

The Policlinic will operate as normal according to its Monday schedule.

Pre-Hurricane Preparations:

A Hurricane Preparatory Kit (HPK) would have the necessary supplies to get you through the first 72 hours after a storm has struck the island.  A devastating hurricane could leave the country without water and electricity for several days if not longer, and therefore it is very important to have supplies for each person in the household.

The HPK should contain non-perishable food, water and medicine (fill prescriptions before the storm); non-electric can opener; first-aid kit; extra cash (ATM machines and credit cards won’t work if there is no electricity);

Battery powered radio and flashlights as well as extra batteries; make sure cell phones are all charged prior to the arrival of the hurricane; fill up your car/truck with gas;

Check if your home and automobile insurance are up to date; put ID cards, passports and driver’s license in a waterproof bag along with other important documents.

If you are a parent with an infant or young children, you also need to have essential items as part of your disaster supply kit: baby formula; diapers; bottles; powdered milk; medications; moist towels; and diaper rash ointment. 

Home & Yard Preparations:

Trim back tree branches from your home or business; cut all dead or weak branches on any trees on your property; clean-up your yard and put away items that could blow away during the passing of a hurricane especially your garbage container. 

Mariners/Boat Owners Safety:

Boat owners and mariners should implement their hurricane preparatory plans and secure their vessels.  Mariners are requested to make special preparations to stay with friends or in a hotel, and not to remain on their vessel during the passing of the hurricane while moored in the Simpson Bay Lagoon or Oyster Pond.

Livestock & Pet Preparations: Livestock owners should review their plans to secure their livestock. Livestock owners should make sure that their animal holding areas and other infrastructure are able to sustain a hurricane strike.  Any loose material that is currently not in use should be securely fastened in order to avoid damage to property and endangering human lives during the passing of a hurricane.

The following tips should be taken into consideration: Don’t keep your cattle in a barn or stable structure.  This is to prevent injury from flying debris.  If the barn/stable collapses, cattle have no chance to save themselves.  Relocate livestock to a predetermined safe area and ensure that they have access to hay, pasture, clean water, and a safe area or high ground above flood levels.

If you have chicken cages, these should be reinforced.  Medical supplies and a first aid kit should be kept on hand. 

Store drinking water for a number of days.  Also have an adequate supply of feed.

If you have to leave your home and you’re not able to take your pet with you; make preparations to leave behind adequate supply of food and water.

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