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Project Loon group gave Puerto Rico connectivity—and fabricated a helicopter

Slide from Juan Ramirez Lugo at AAAS 2018

AUSTIN, Texas—”So this happened—this is Sep 2017,” Juan Ramírez Lugo, boss of the AAAS Caribbean division, tells the assembly at the 2018 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Conference. The slip that shortly greets the room depicts an almost surreal reality: the accessible energy (or miss thereof) on the island of Puerto Rico in the evident issue of Hurricane Maria.

“The island went dark; the Virgin Islands fundamentally left off the map. This blew my mind to not have my dungeon phone in this day and age,” Ramírez Lugo continues. “The slight eventually became get up in the morning, then try to check the news and Status.pr to see how much service has returned to normal.”

Ramírez Lugo cited estimates that the cost of Hurricane Maria’s repairs will sum 34.1 percent of Puerto Rico’s GDP, so job the charge harmful almost seems like an understatement. The slight Ramírez Lugo shared highlighted another essential (re)building retard for disaster recovery, one that’s now joined general infrastructure and health needs: connectivity. With the immeasurable volume of electrical grid and belligerent towers damaged, FEMA estimates put dungeon service accessibility at a tiny 60 percent an whole month after the storm.

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