Taiwan’s largest telecommunications provider says six undersea cables damaged by Typhoon Morakot should be repaired by September 15. The cables were damaged by undersea landslides caused by the powerful storm as it passed by the island, resulting in disruptions to internet service in China and Southeast Asia. The company says service has since been restored using a combination of backup systems and traffic rerouting.
The cables damaged were the SWM-3 (Southeast Asia – Middle East – Western Europe 3), the APCN (Asia Pacific Cable Network), APCN2, C2C Cable Network East Asia Crossing (EAC), C2C Cable Network (C2C) and FLAG (Fiber Optic Link Around The Globe) North Asia Loop (FNAL). They carry Internet and communications traffic from the U.S. and North Asia to Taiwan, China, Hong Kong and parts of Southeast Asia.
Telcom officials warn that while service has been at least 98% restored, the backup systems and rerouting may result in bottlenecks and slow service at times. Typhoon Morakot killed 136 people in Taiwan, injured 46 and caused over $200 million in damages. 386 people are still missing and over 5,000 are in emergency shelters. Most of the damage and deaths were caused by mudslides and flood waters.