Tonga could take two weeks to restore its internet cable

Tonga could be without internet for two weeks after a violent volcanic eruption severed an underwater communications cable that cut off the country from outside contact, an official told AFP on Monday.

“The information we’re getting is sketchy but it looks like the cable has been cut,” said Dean Veverka, director of networks for Southern Cross Cable Network, an internet company.

“It could take up to two weeks to repair it. The nearest cable-laying ship is in Port Moresby,” he added, referring to Papua New Guinea’s capital, more than 4,000km from Tonga in the Pacific.

Southern Cross is helping Tonga Cable Limited, which owns the 872 km cable between Tonga and Fiji and from there to the rest of the world.

The failure was initially believed to be due to a blackout following the powerful eruption, but it was later determined that there was a break in the cable.

The small island nation is struggling to recover from an eruption that covered its capital in ash.

Authorities in neighboring New Zealand said the catastrophe caused “significant damage” but no injuries or deaths were initially reported.


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