Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte says the death toll caused by Hurricane Irma on the Caribbean territory of St. Maarten has risen to four.
Rutte said Sunday, “unfortunately there are more victims to mourn” after the bodies of two people washed up on the island. He says the identities of the victims are not yet known.
One of the four people listed as victims by the Dutch authorities died of natural causes as the Category 5 hurricane lashed St. Maarten, badly damaging or destroying 70 percent of homes on the Dutch part of the Caribbean island.
Early this morning around 5 a.m., Dutch King Willem-Alexander was set to fly to the Caribbean to meet survivors.
Meanwhile, Dutch tourists stranded for days on St. Maarten are hoping to finally get flights home.
Willem-Alexander was to fly Sunday to the island of Curacao to visit a hospital where more than 60 patients from St. Maarten who require kidney dialysis were flown for treatment over the last two days by the Dutch military.
If the weather is good enough, the monarch will later fly onward to St. Maarten and two other smaller islands hit by Irma on Wednesday to offer his support to the thousands of residents and Dutch marines helping to clear the island, where some 70 percent of homes were badly damaged or destroyed by the Category 5 storm.
The Dutch navy tweeted Sunday that it plans to evacuate tourists from the island’s shattered resorts.