The Arecibo Observatory has withstood the wrath of Hurricane Maria. I am happy to say that all the staff members and their families are safe and accounted for. The staff has spent the past week performing cleanup activities as well as inspecting the physical structures and the research equipment. The Observatory sustained less damage than anticipated to equipment and facilities. The radio telescope is already operational and running scientific observations! During the past week, we have collected Lidar data, performed drift scans and observed pulsars. We continue to strategically test equipment and capabilities as our resources become available.
We are also taking an active role in the recovery efforts of Puerto Rico. We have provided hundreds of people within the community clean potable water, and have given support to FEMA officials and search and rescue operations.
I want to thank the entire Arecibo Observatory Staff for their incredible dedication and efforts in helping reestablish operational capabilities at the facility. You truly are the soul of the Arecibo Observatory.
To my beautiful Puerto Rico. I know we were hit hard. I know you are tired, scared, and emotionally drained.
But I will tell you one thing: We will make it through this.
We will remove the debris, and the trees and the glass from our streets so we can use them again. We will heal our wounded and build homes for those that lost them. We will connect the broken pipes to get water to our families. We will clean our schools and our parks so that our children can play. We will help our neighbors in need. We will grow stronger and we will rebuild, together. I know this because I have already seen it this past week. I’ve seen people helping their communities, sharing food, donating water, going above and beyond to help our fellow Puerto Ricans in need. We are resilient, we are united, and we are #PRStrong.
The Arecibo Observatory is committed to Puerto Rico and the community. I know together we will step stand up again and achieve great things. #PuertoRicoSeLevanta