PHILIPSBURG – The devastation of Haiti by Hurricane Matthew, with the death toll now at 108, has become a major cause for concern for the United People’s Party (UP).
In a press statement issued Thursday, October 6, UP Party leader Theo Heyliger said, “The Haitian community on St. Maarten has always had our utmost respect, and today it saddens me to see the devastation that their country has endured at the hands of Hurricane Matthew.”
Heyliger said his family, the board and members of the UP Party have been monitoring the damage caused by Matthew as it continued its journey towards the USA, particularly the Florida East Coast Thursday night into Friday morning.
To date the death toll in the Caribbean resulting from Hurricane Matthew is 114. Jamaica, Cuba and the Bahamas have all suffered tremendous damage. The release stated, “Our sympathies are with the families and friends of those who have lost loved ones in Haiti and elsewhere in the Caribbean.”
“Haiti has had more than its share of struggles from earthquakes to outbreaks and now the struggle of having to endure, and then in the future to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Matthew seems more than the country can take. As such, we the UP Party pledge our support to the families here in the aftermath of the hurricane, as they work to pick up the pieces and return some semblance of normalcy to their life,” Heyliger stated.
“We will continue to pray for the speedy recovery and healing of our fellow Caribbean brothers and sisters, who have been affected by Hurricane Matthew. Here on St. Maarten we have been fortunate this time around that we escaped the wrath of this hurricane. We all know what hurricanes have done to our country, and we know how the rest of the Caribbean and our partners around the globe have come forward during those times, to bring us aid and comfort. I therefore call on every citizen on St. Maarten to join arm in arm with our brothers here, representing their families and friends across the region, and do whatever you can to assist those in need,” Heyliger said.
He also said the time for playing politics was over, and noted that as UP, he and the board and members were committed to bettering the lives of every citizen of St. Maarten. Because St. Maarten is such a melting pot of different nationalities, he felt it was as though Matthew struck St. Maarten itself.