The internet connection in Tonga could be down for up to two weeks, the government officials said. A massive volcanic eruption last Saturday caused a tsunami that hit several islands in the South Pacific. The resulting eruption caused damage to undersea cables, and Southern Cross Cable Network said the island’s main island has been covered in ash and lava. A spokesperson for the company said the damage looked like a cable cut, but the team would not know for sure until the eruption had stopped.
The Tonga government said the damage to the undersea cable had caused a telecommunications blackout. The cable has caused some problems with connectivity for the country’s residents. However, the Tongan people’s main phone and internet connections were still functioning, though the government did not offer a full recovery time. The islanders’ communications may be down for at least two weeks while the government tries to repair the damaged cables.
In addition to the blackout, there are other concerns as well. The country’s only undersea communications cable may have been damaged by an earthquake, cutting off the island’s access to the internet. This will impact international calls to Tonga and other Pacific nations. There are no immediate plans to reroute the communications cable. Until then, the islands’ only alternative is to wait until the earthquake has passed and then try again.
The outage has hit the entire nation of Tonga. Because the island is connected to the world by an undersea cable, all of its communications may be down for up to two weeks. In Tonga, the only undersea cable to the island was cut at around 6 p.m. local time, and ABC News reported that all internet connectivity between Tonga and Fiji was lost. On January 18, 2022, CNN published visuals of the devastated islands, and the country’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, issued a statement about the situation.
While the island nation’s airport remains closed, there are some areas where communications are still available. The country’s capital, Nuku’alofa, is a hub of communication, but it’s still down. In the meantime, a local phone network is able to provide phone service. However, satellite phone calls are difficult to make.
The country’s government released a statement saying the cable is down for two weeks. There is no immediate way to restore the service for that long, but the emergency technical team is working hard to restore the services. It’s unlikely that the country’s citizens will be able to contact their families. In the meantime, their families must deal with the clean-up and rebuild the island.