DENVER - Cell towers have been knocked out in Puerto Rico making it tough for people to hear from loved ones.
A woman in Denver who has been trying to figure out if her family is safe says social media has been her biggest tool. Scrolling through Facebook used to be fun for Cristina Luna Paredes. However, ever since Hurricane Maria ripped through Puerto Rico, she only uses it to learn more about her family still on the island.
Luna Paredes said she checks Facebook at least 15 times every hour hoping to find out if her family is ok. She said there are about 80 family members, including her paternal grandparents, who are still on the island.
The only person she's been able to make direct contact with is one of her uncles who lives there. She said he sent her one message that read in part, "Thank God we're alive, but Puerto Rico is destroyed."
To help other family members who are currently not in Puerto Rico get the same information, Luna Paredes said her family plays a new-age version of the old "telephone" game.
"What they've been doing is communicating with my dad or uncle who have been relaying the information to all of our family here," Luna Paredes said.
She's been told the family is all together and pulling their supplies together to keep each other safe. However, with water being scarce and food running low, she's concerned their situation could quickly change.
"It's been very difficult," Luna Paredes said through tears. "It has been very hard not knowing how they're doing while we're ok."
Earlier this week, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced the island is "basically without power and will be so for a very long time."
The power outages and downed towers aren't just preventing Cristina from getting messages. They're also making it difficult for her to send them. She said Saturday is grandma's birthday so she sent her a message online but is not sure she will be able to see it.
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