It's been three weeks since Hurricane Maria ripped through Puerto Rico, and 84 percent of the island is still without power. At least 43 people have died, 37 percent of the island remains without running water, and health care workers are facing a crisis with fuel and medical supply shortages.
But large U.S. tech companies have responded with donations and attempts to get the island back online. However, some of the efforts have missed their target. On Monday, Mark Zuckerberg posted a controversial virtual reality tour of Puerto Rico's destruction on his Facebook page.
The video demonstrated Spaces, Facebook's VR product, and explained how its population maps would help the American Red Cross learn where help is needed most on the island. Some found the tone of video to be cheery, placing a cartoon version of Zuckerberg in the flooded streets of Puerto Rico, while others viewed it as a demo for Spaces.
The Facebook co-founder quickly apologized in a Facebook post on Tuesday. "One of the most powerful features of VR is empathy," he wrote. "My goal here was to show how VR can raise awareness and help us see what's happening in different parts of the world."
Facebook also pledged $1.5 million for Puerto Rico's recovery and flew employees from its connectivity team to the island to bring it back online. Other tech giants, like Google's parent company Alphabet, also offered support.
On Saturday, Alphabet was granted an experimental license by the Federal Communications Commission to use its Project Loon, a balloon-powered internet service, to bring internet back to the island.
Additionally, Elon Musk said on Oct. 5 that Tesla could rebuild the island's power grid, prompting a response from the island's governor on Twitter. Airbnb is also working to provide housing to people who have been displayed by the recent hurricanes across America.