"Anubis, in support of its subsidiary Inter Funeral Services SXM in Saint Martin was on alert as of Sunday September 10th and our local team made the necessary to protect the funeral complex and the vehicles before the passage of Hurricane Irma. The water supply was cut 12 hours before the storm and communications were interrupted from the beginning. Our team members are confined to their homes with their families. Irma fell for eight hours with winds pointing 360 km.
Immediately after the passage of Irma, our team was requested by the National Police to search for potential victims. The first victims found were transported to Inter Funeral Services SXM of Marigot by means of 4x4 vehicles of the Gendarmerie.
As soon as the runway at Grand Case airport could be cleared, the reinforcements sent by the French government arrived quite quickly, including a team from the IRCGN (Criminal Investigation Institute of the Gendarmerie Nationale). The IRCGN took control of the search for victims and their identification. The search for the victims was suspended six days after the hurricane. In St. Martin, a total of nine deaths were officially reported and none at Saint Barthelemy. The “identification” stage could not be carried out entirely in Saint Martin, thus the bodies were then transported by refrigerated boat by boat to Guadeloupe at the Institut Médico-Légal in Pointe à Pitre.
Dominic Vernhes CEO of Anubis Group visited Saint Martin as soon as he could. Initially, he moved to Martinique to join the Anubis West -Indies team at the Fort de France airport where the Anubis support center is located. Flights to Saint Martin from Martinique and Guadeloupe were interrupted and airlines flying to Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy were requisitioned by the authorities to evacuate those wishing to leave these islands. After a few days of waiting, Dominic Vernhes with the assistance of the French authorities was able to reach Saint Martin with a plane from the French customs, basic supplies and food could be transported.
Eight days after the passage of Irma, chaos was still visible. The water supply was still not reestablished, electricity and communications, very partially. However, the local population were busy clearing and cleaning the streets day and night.
Inter Funeral Services SXM building resisted quite well, it suffered some damage but not mayor ones. The fifty-body chamber, the offices and the air-conditioning system were constantly powered by a generator. The IRCGN was thus able to work under correct conditions in view of these very exceptional circumstances.
The cyclone season in the West Indies extends from July to November of each year. On September 19 Hurricane Maria happily spared Saint Martin and St. Barthelemy but has caused damage and victims in other Caribbean islands including Dominica, Guadeloupe, Santo Domingo, Haiti and Puerto Rico.
As of September 22, the administrative services in Saint Martin are still interrupted. Those of St. Barthelemy resumed normal functioning. In Saint Martin, only emergencies are assured, we have no information as to the date of a return to normal, probably early October."
For any request, it is preferable to contact directly one of the Anubis platforms:
Anubis French West Indies
Manager: Béatrice Le Normand
Anubis International Assistance
COO: Fabrice Kana