Typhoon Morakot Severs Three Undersea Internet Cables

Technology.am (Aug. 13, 2009) — Deep sea landslides caused by Typhoon Morakot near Taiwan cut off at least three undersea fiber-optic telecommunications cables and disrupted three others, causing Internet service disruptions in some parts of Asia.

morakot_amoTyphoon Morakot killed 103 people in Taiwan, and destroyed US$273.9 million of crops and other goods. Undersea fiber optic cables carry the bulk of the world’s Internet and communications traffic. Natural disasters can disrupt the cables.

The SWM-3 (Southeast Asia – Middle East – Western Europe 3) cable that connects to Taiwan near the east coast city of Taitung was hit by undersea landslides on August 9 as Typhoon Morakot approached the island.

The undersea landslides also severed two other undersea fiber optic cables, APCN (Asia Pacific Cable Network) and APCN2.

The cable breaks disrupted Internet and telecommunications connectivity to China and parts of Southeast Asia, including Singapore, the Philippines and Hong Kong, but Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan’s largest telecommunications provider, was able to restore service quickly by using backup systems and rerouting traffic to other cables.

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