Isabelle, who was born in Toulouse, has been living on the island of Saint-Martin in the Antilles for 25 years. This doctor, who is currently on holiday in Toulouse, normally, thanks to her job, has nerves of steel. But since yesterday, she is in total panic and is calling for help because she fears for the life of her husband and son who are on the Antilles island that has been ravaged by Hurrican Irma.
“My husband and my son are in danger of being killed, like a large part of the populatiion. It’s civil war there. We have started to hear some talk in the media about looters who cleaned out the shops after the hurricane, but it’s still very far from reality. Gangs of thugs have robbed the customs house, which was badly damaged, and have stolen the stocks of weapons that were there. Since Thursday evening, they’ve been moving back and forth across the island wearings masks and hoods attacking the houses that were still standing where the inhabitants had taken refuge,” she says, on the verge of tears.
“I had them on the phone last night. They are paralysed with fear. It’s around our house where they’ve barricaded themselves with six friends who are at our home because their villa was destroyed,” she continues. “They can’t go out. They say the attackers are moving around in gangs of ten, it’s completely lawless and they’re ready to shoot to get food or money.”
Her statements are confirmed by the testimonies of other residents of the island, who tell on social networks of gangs who are smashing in the doors of houses saying “Whites out”.
Here are Facebook posts from some people on the scene.
I’ve done a tour of the island.I won’t put up images of the desolation. No one has been spared…now it’s the jungle! What is the government doing? On the Dutch side there are soldiers, mounted police, police at every corner of the street! They have imposed a 5 pm curfew to clear looters from the streets. Here, on the French side, the looters are filling up entire buses with whatever they find, shopping trolleys filled with toys, washing machines, they’re fighting over who is going to steal what! ANIMALS you would think they are at a Christmas market!
Send help to Anse des Sables very quickly:
Received from Nath Laborie…
She thinks the building is going to be evacuated, there’s looting the young people “jeunes” are masked and armed they are going through the ground floor and climbing the stairs smashing in the doors and saying whites out
She is sleeping with a knife, there are no more police she is urgently waiting for help
Here, in some video footage, you hear one of the looters saying (in French): “Switch off your fucking camera!”
The French news media is reporting that some of these looters are hardened criminals who escaped from a prison on the Dutch side of the island that was damaged and breached by the hurricane. In total, 250 prisoners escaped after taking weapons from the prison armoury and are now on the rampage.
The French government has said that it has not been able to confirm these reports.