Today, France’s interior minister Gerard Collomb said Hurricane Irma has killed at least 9 people and injured 23 in French Caribbean island territories as the dangerous Category 5 storm roared over the Caribbean.
Speaking on French radio France Info, the Minister said the death toll in Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthelemycould be higher because rescue teams have yet to finish their inspection of the islands.
The Hurricane blacked out much of Puerto Rico, raking the U.S. territory with heavy wind and rain while staying just out to sea, and it headed early Thursday toward the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
Significant damage was also reported on St. Martin, an island split between French and Dutch control. Photos and video circulating on social media showed major damage to the airport in Philipsburg and the coastal village of Marigot heavily flooded. France sent emergency food and water there and to the French island of St. Bart’s, where Irma ripped off roofs and knocked out electricity.