It will take at least a month to repair an undersea communications cable connecting the Tonga islands – devastated by a volcanic eruption and tsunami – to the rest of the world, New Zealand’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday. US cable company SubCom says it will take at least four weeks for Tonga’s connection to be restored.The ministry said in an update on the disaster that cut the small Pacific nation off from the rest of the world.
Little contact has since been made possible through a few satellite phones, most of which are maintained by foreign embassies in the capital, Nuku’alofa.
According to the company, there are two separate breaks in the cable, one located 37 kilometers from shore and the other a local cable close to the volcano, which makes it difficult to repair. A repair ship is currently on its way from neighboring Papua New Guinea.
Mobile operator Digicel has brought back some essential second-generation domestic services, but warned that restoring international calls may still be a long way off.
Kacific, which is involved in a contract dispute with the government of Tonga, has been contacted. “We have not yet reached out to the government to discuss our services”This was told by Cristian Batoro, managing director of CASEFIC, told AFP.
The World Health Organization said in a statement on Tuesday that Tonga’s liaison officer, Yotaro Sitoya, is responsible for communications between UN agencies and the local government.
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