World Americans rescued from crippled St. Martin

16:45  12 september  2017
16:45  12 september  2017 Source:   CBS News

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CBS This Morning National Guard helps rescue Americans off St . Mart CBS Evening News Rescues in Irma's wake Rico Monday night had to survive for nearly a week after Irma crippled nearby St . Martin .

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Philipsburg, the capital of Sint Maarten, seen here in the aftermath of Irma.: sintmarteen.jpg© satellite image ©2017 DigitalGlobe sintmarteen.jpg

New satellite images show the Caribbean before and after Hurricane Irma hit. The Turks and Caicos Islands are normally a lush, green tourist destination, but thepowerful storm stripped its vegetation and destroyed homes. Eighty percent of the buildings were extensively damaged on St. John, the smallest of the U.S. Virgin Islands. People there had to walk miles for water and ready-to-eat meals.

The families that landed in Puerto Rico Monday night had to survive for nearly a week after Irma crippled nearby St. Martin. Many got by in shelters, on rations, hiding from looters, until the National Guard's C-130s started to land, reports CBS News' Tony Dokoupil.

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At a makeshift security gate secured by Dutch and U.S. special operations, U.S. Embassy worker Lee Hilgartner rushed to vet passengers for the flight home.   "What we're doing is prioritizing, we've been getting the medical emergencies out, but there are still people who have been staying in relative's houses or other people's homes," Hilgartner said. Hurricane Irma decimated St. Martin. It was one of the strongest storms ever recorded, but for many there, the aftermath was even more menacing. Susan Coquin, who found a spot on a charter flight, is one of the many who lost nearly everything in the storm.   "Went through the storm, got looted and robbed. My place blew up. Forty years of my life was here," Coquin said. The tarmac filled with even more people – all of them cleared for the flight back to San Juan and back to America.   After so many days on edge, sleep comes first for a lot of the passengers. But when the doors open it's clear that it feels good to be home.

The National Guard and State Department personnel on the ground say about 375 Americans got out on Monday, on three different flights. That's just about everyone. Which means that starting Tuesday, the mission will shift from rescue to the long recovery.

3 rescued, 1 dead on boat missing in Hurricane Maria .
The U.S. Coast Guard says a woman and two children were rescued from a boat that went missing off Puerto Rico during Hurricane Maria, but a man died aboard the vessel.The Coast Guard in Miami said in a statement that a British Royal Navy helicopter hoisted three people Wednesday night from the capsized vessel. It had sent a distress call Wednesday saying it was disabled and adrift in seas with 20-foot (6-meter) waves and 100 mph (160 kph) winds near Vieques, Puerto Rico.The Coast Guard says the dead man's body was not retrieved and that the boat capsized.

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