As we learn about the damage Hurricane Maria unleashed on Puerto Rico, those in the mainland United States naturally want to know how their families are doing on the island. But for many, it’s become difficult to communicate with their loved ones in Puerto Rico, which lost 100 percent power on Wednesday afternoon. Before the entire island’s electricity went out, there were reports that Puerto Ricans couldn’t communicate with 911. As anxiety builds for those watching from afar, some are putting out pleas on social media; others are trying their luck to varying degrees of success with apps like WhatsApp.
Meanwhile, the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration in Washington DC has encouraged people to call its hotline at 202-778-0710 to check in on family and friends, according to the Orlando Sentinel. The line has been inundated with calls, making it hard to get through. Authorities have opened more lines and ask those to be patient and continue calling in.
The Puerto Rico Tourism Company has also set up a hotline for “hotel, guests, and industry partners,” according to Pix11. You can reach that number at 877-976-2400.
Puerto Rico Maria Updates, a public Facebook group, is attempting to collect as much information for people on and outside the island. It started a spreadsheet giving the most up-to-date information about different pueblos. The Resumen de Pueblos details things like last time someone was able to communicate, whether there’s electricity, and what kind of damage they’re seeing.
If you have any other ways to get in touch with people in Puerto Rico, leave a comment below.