On Sept. 18, the Category 1 hurricane brought heavy rainfall and wind, sweeping the island and ultimately causing an islandwide blackout. Soon after, Gov. Pedro Pierluisi confirmed on Twitter that the island’s electrical system was out of service. That same day, President Joe Biden declared a state of emergency in Puerto Rico, ordering federal assistance to supplement response efforts.
In response to updates that floods and landslides will continue to assail the island until Tuesday, celebrities are extending messages of strength, support, and frustration.
Singer Ricky Martin took to Instagram Monday afternoon with a video post captioned “#PuertoRico te amo,” which translates to “#PuertoRico love you.”
“Puerto Rico, once again we’re facing another hard blow from Mother Nature but, as we’ve done before, we are going to rise up with more strength and courage,” he began the video in Spanish, adding, “I know that together we’ll make our island shine like always.”
Puerto Rican singer Luis Fonsi (“Despacito”) also responded to the latest updates on the island, writing, “strength to my soul Puerto Rico. We are sample and example of a strong and resilient people.”
Actor Zoe Saldaña shared a link to a story about the island’s latest natural disaster in a post shared to her Instagram Story, remarking, “We are thinking about you, Puerto Rico.”
“Lord of The Rings: The Rings of Power” star Ismael Cruz Cordova also shared his support in an Instagram Story calling for “all hands on deck for Puerto Rico.”
“My people from Puerto Rico, we are known for being strong and for our faith, and this will not be the exception! My prayers are with you,” singer Marc Anthony wrote in a post shared on his Instagram page, which featured an image of the Puerto Rican flag.
Puerto Rican actor Roselyn Sanchez, best known for her roles in “Without a Trace” and more recently “Fantasy Island,” also commented on the recent blackouts on social media.
“Puerto Rico... hug you and think of you,” she wrote in an Instagram post. “Thanks to the people and this blessed island that in times of misfortune unite as a people.”
Broadway playwright and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda also responded to the island’s devastation, sharing a link to the Hispanic Federation, a nonprofit organization, on Twitter. He also touched on how the recent crisis comes as the island continues to recover from Hurricane Maria, which pummeled Puerto Rico five years ago.
“Almost exactly 5 yrs after Hurricane Maria devastated PR, Hurricane Fiona has hit, knocking out power for all. Please donate to help efforts,” he wrote in his tweet. “@HispanicFed is on the ground with permanent staff responding to needs in real-time.”
“@HispanicFed has always been a great partner to @WCKitchen doing great work Just like WCK teams they respond boots on the ground and support local communities, Puerto Ricans helping Puerto Ricans,” Chef José Andrés shared in a retweet of Miranda’s post about Hurricanes Fiona and Maria.
Andrés' not-for-profit non-governmental organization World Central Kitchen also responded to news regarding Hurricane Fiona on Twitter and shared its effort to provide food and support to the most impacted areas.
Hurricane Maria was a deadly Category 5 hurricane, one of the worst storms in Puerto Rican history and the worst recorded natural disaster to occur on U.S. territory in a century.
At the time, lack of support and response from the continental United States following the hurricane, which left parts of the island without power for 11 months and more than 3,000 people dead, sparked public and celebrity backlash.
Then-president Donald Trump was vehemently criticized for failing to distribute disaster aid to the country, which would have allowed for speedier and more meaningful repairs. At the time, during a post-hurricane visit to the island, Trump notoriously threw paper towels into a crowd of citizens at a relief center.
Five years later, the country continues to struggle with its precarious electrical grid system as a lack of neglect and much-needed financial support.
Ana Navarro, a Nicaraguan-American political commentator for CNN, appeared to highlight the importance of providing the country with substantial attention in a viral tweet shared on Monday.
“Folks, I respect the Queen as much as the next person. I offer my condolences to the Brits and all who loved her, But can I please get some news and footage of the effects of Fiona in Puerto Rico?” Ana Navarro, a Nicaraguan-American political commentator for CNN commented in a Tweet. “For those who need reminding, they are American citizens in distress.”