Photo Credit: (New York Times) A woman in St. Martin carries a jug full of water.
Hurricane Irma ravaged the Caribbean islands last week and wiped entire islands off the map. Now that the food and water have been scavenged from every grocery store on St. Martin, people are resorting to violence.
The people obviously started with the grocery stores, scavenging what they needed for sustenance; water, crackers, and fruit. But according to the New York Times, by nightfall on Thursday, what had been a search for food took a more menacing turn, as groups of people (some of whom were armed), swooped in and violently took anything of value that was left. Things like electronics, appliances, and vehicles were all stolen.
The social fabric has begun to fray now that people are without the most basic of essentials: food and water. “All the food is gone now,” Jacques Charbonnier, a 63-year-old resident of St. Martin, said in an interview on Sunday. “People are fighting in the streets for what is left.” Residents of St. Martin, and elsewhere in the region, spoke about a general disintegration of law and order as survivors struggled in the face of severe food and water shortages, and the absence of electricity and phone service.
As reports of increasing desperation continued to emerge from the region over the weekend, governments in Britain, France and the Netherlands, which oversee territories in the region, stepped up their response. They defended themselves against criticism that their reaction had been too slow, and insufficient. Both the French and Dutch governments said they were sending in extra troops to restore order, along with the aid that was being airlifted into the region. –New York Times
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