April 11, 2011, one month after the magnitude 9.0 Japan Earthquake, the cable repair is still going on and it may take longer.
Pacific Crossing announced urgent update regarding the repair of PC-1 cable network. The North and West cables of PC-1 network incurred faults offshore Ajigaura cable landing station, which was isolated from the submarine networks after the Japan earthquake and tsunami on 11 March 2011. Though Pacific Crossing have been working urgently with their cable repair company to initiate repair activities. Regrettably, at this time, the cable repair company is not yet able to send their repair ship to the location of the PC-1 faults. Pacific Crossing continues to work with them to urgently dispatch their ship to the PC-1 North repair area and are also concurrently investigating several alternative arrangements in order to complete the cable repairs as soon as possible. Unfortunately Pacific Crossing do not have a firm estimate of the PC-1 North repair date from their cable repair company at this time. Pacific Crossing will provide a firm estimated date as soon as it becomes available. Based on the current discussions, Pacific Crossing are still hopeful that they can complete the PC-1 North repairs by late April or early May. The repair of PC-1 West will commence immediately following the repair of PC-1 North.
Another leading submarine network operator Pacnet announced on March 18 the successful restoration of all proteched service on Segments K & L of the EAC cable network, which were interrupted offshore Ajigaura cable landing station as well, but there is no good news any more on the cable repair of Segments K & L of the EAC cable network yet. It is said Safety precautionary measures issued by the Marine Maintenance Authority advises that all shipping activities be suspended within 150 nautical miles of Fukushima where the nuclear power leakage occured.
On the other hand, there is more solid progress on the cable repair of Segment D and C of the EAC cable network, which were cut after the magnitude-5.2 earthquake in the east coast of Taiwan on March 20, 2011. The cable repair of Segment D of the EAC cable network was completed successfully on April 3, 2011. The cable repair of Segment C of the EAC cable network is expected to be completed by April 13, 2011. Owing to the robust combination of EAC and C2C cable network and special cable repair arrangement, Pacnet progressed much more than expected on the service restoration and cable repair.
The cable repair on the other impacted consortium cables including APCN-2, China-US CN and Japan-US CN were delayed as well due to the lack of cable repair ship. There are only two cable repair ships, the KOL and the Segero, serving cable repair in the Yokohama Zone, one of the major cable maintenance zones in the Asia-Pacific region and serving the areas impacted by the Japan Earthquake. Though another cable repair ship, the Fu An from SBSS, was urgently mobilized to assist the cable repair of Yokohama Zone, the completion and coordination of cable repair for the 10 cable cuts in aforesaid consortium cables is not a easy mission and may take longer than expected.
There are still aftershocks of the Japan earthquake and potential additional cable cuts, the submarine networks are facing a long-lasting challenge in this spring and summar. And the whole communities have to keep eyes on every possible disruption and prepare for the long-lasting cable repair and service restoration.