The safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas is our top priority. Over the last 24 hours, Department of State has worked in close coordination with the Department of Defense to assist over 500 American citizens with air evacuations from St. Martin, beginning with those needing urgent medical care. These operations will expand as weather conditions improve after Hurricane Jose passes the island.
The Department of State is operating a 24 hour task force to coordinate the U.S. government response to Hurricane Irma’s impact and also the arrival of Hurricane Jose. We are coordinating with all parts of the U.S. government to ensure the safety of U.S. citizens. We are also tracking requests for assistance for citizens of other countries.
We intend to resume operations to St. Martin as soon as it is safe to do so. Until Hurricane Jose has safely passed, we strongly advise U.S. citizen to shelter in place at a secure location. U.S. citizens should not go to the airport unless they have specific and confirmed departure plans. Going to the airport without such plans could endanger the safety of U.S. citizens.
Prior to Hurricane Irma’s landfall, the Department of State assist the departure of U.S. citizens through commercial and charter transportation, along with our own employees and family members.