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These dramatic aerial pictures show scenes of devastation on a Caribbean island after it was ravaged by the most powerful hurricane the Atlantic has ever seen.
Astonishing images show the scale of the destruction on the island of St. Martin in the aftermath of a direct hit by Category 5 Hurricane Irma.
Video - Shot - Defense - Ministry - Helicopter
Video, shot from a Dutch Defense Ministry navy helicopter sent to assess damage Wednesday evening, shows seafront hotels - a mainstay of the Caribbean island's economy - with their roofs badly damaged, palm trees stripped of fronds and poolside terraces covered in sand.
Streets were largely deserted and littered with debris. At a port area, shipping containers were strewn like children's building blocks. Elsewhere, yachts were shown jumbled together in a small harbor, some overturned or dumped, upside down, onto the shore.
Irma - Damage - St - Martin - Airport
Irma has caused 'huge damage' to St Martin, devastating its airport and port and leaving the Dutch part of the Caribbean island unreachable, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said.
'Alas, the island is not reachable at this point because of the huge damage to the airport and the harbour,' Rutte told reporters, though he added there were no reports of deaths on the Dutch side so far. French authorities say at least nine lives have been lost on the French side.
Island - Airport - Princess - Juliana - Sand
The island's airport, Princess Juliana, also was hit hard, with what appeared to be sand washed up to parts of the main terminal and the building's roof extensively damaged.
No aircraft were visible on the tarmac. The airport is famous around the world because its runway ends very close to a beach, where...
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