Hurricane Irma may have destroyed one of the world’s most famous airports as it moved across the northern Caribbean this week.
The Princess Juliana Airport on the island of St. Martin was “hit hard, with what appeared to be sand washed up to parts of the main terminal and the building’s roof extensively damaged. No aircraft were visible on the tarmac,” The Associated Press reports.
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Images of the damage circulated on social media. Severe damage can be seen inside the airport, including check-in counters and terminal areas. Other images appear to show remnants of a jet bridge sitting on the airfield apron.
The airport is famous in aviation circles for its runways that abut one of the island’s picturesque blue-water Caribbean beaches, allowing enthusiasts and photo-seekers unusually close access to an active runway.
Over the years, it’s become a popular spot for those trying to snag a photo of airliners landing overhead as Maho Beach looms in the background.
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The runway at Princess Juliana International Airport in St. Maarten backs up to a public beach.
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