Submarine Cables Cut by Taiwan Earthquake and Typhoon Morakot

On August 17, 2009, Magnitude 6.7 earthquake hit the east coast of Taiwan, after the spread of Typhoon Morakot on August 9, the deadliest typhoon to impact Taiwan in recorded history. Eight submarine cables were cut by the earthquake and landslides caused by the Typhoon Morakot.

 

The cables cut by the earthquake and the the Typhoon Morakot include APCN, APCN-2, C2C, China-US CN, EAC, FLAG FEA, FNAL/RNAL and SMW3, the same as those impacted by the earquake in the southwest coast of Taiwan on December 16 2006. The impact to the international communications and submare networks is much slighter than that in 2006.

Internet users in Singapore, Malyasia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Mainland China were encountered with Internet congestion and slow access. MSN and Yahoo and most of  the Internet in the USA were difficult to access. China ISPs were reported to lost 70% of Internet capacity to the USA after the cables cut.

Owing to the measures and solutions taken by the industry after the 2006 Taiwan earthquake, the service restoration is much quicker in this hit.

Since the 2006 Taiwan earthquake,  several new submarine cables have been put into service in the intra-Asia and trans-Pacific regions.

  • TPE, ready for service on September 30, 2008, connecting directly Taiwan and Mainland China with the USA via the northern trans-Pacific submarine cable route. TPE is the main cable for Chinese operators to restore their Internet traffic to the USA.
  • TGN-IA, ready for service on August 18, 2009, a linear  intra-Asia submarine cable system, connecting Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines, Hong Kong, Japan and Guam, designed deliberately to avoid Taiwan earthquake zone. TGN-IA was put into immediate service for ad-hoc restoration just after its completion of commission test.

All the newly built submarine cables contributed a lot for the service restoration after the cables cut by the earthquake and the Typhoon Morakot. The resiliency and diversity of  intra-Asia and  trans-Pacific submarine networks have been enhanced.

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