The majority of Puerto Rico is still without power or cell phone service after Hurricane Maria devastated the island more than three weeks ago, and tech giant Google is doing something about it.
Last week, the Federal Communications Commission announced that it gave approval to Alphabet, Google’s parent company, to provide emergency phone reception through the use of solar-powered balloons, CNBC reported.
The FCC said that as of Friday 83 percent of the island’s cell sites remained out of service.
The mission – dubbed in 2013 as Project Loon – involves high-altitude, solar-powered balloons that provide internet service in remote regions.
Project Loon is working to “was working to “support licensed mobile carriers’ restoration of limited communications capability” in Puerto Rico, the FCC said.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced Friday that he was forming a Hurricane Recovery Task Force, which will adopt a “coordinated and comprehensive approach” to rebuilding and restoring communications services on Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
In addition, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said Friday that the company would send more battery installers to Puerto Rico to help restore power.
Much of the more than 3 million American citizens living in Puerto Rico are still in distress in the aftermath of the storm, with limited access to food and potable water.
Four deaths on the island are being investigated as possible cases of disease spread by animal urine, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello said Wednesday, according to The Associated Press.
A total of 45 people in Puerto Rico have died as a result of the storm.