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. Repairs To Quake-Hit Asia Internet Cables Delayed Again

Graphic of submarine cable repair process courtesy AFP.
by Staff Writers
Hong Kong (AFP) Jan 29, 2007
Hong Kong's telecom regulator said Monday bad weather had again delayed full repairs to undersea cables damaged last year by an earthquake, which badly disrupted Internet access in parts of Asia. The Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA) said most of the seven submarine cables, damaged by a powerful 7.1-magnitude temblor off Taiwan on December 26, have now been fixed but that one will take longer than estimated.

Repair work will be completed at the end of February, instead of mid-February as had been anticipated earlier.

"The repair work of one section of a cable will now complete by the end of next month," said OFTA Director General Au Man-ho. "Bad weather, technical problems and other reasons are causing the delay."

However, he said Internet providers had diverted Web traffic and that the delay was not having a significant impact on Internet services in Hong Kong.

"According to our reports from the providers, all services have largely been resumed back to normal -- it's approaching 100 percent," he said.

Au said a new warning system will be set up next month to alert the public if a similar Internet breakdown occurs again.

The Boxing Day earthquake snapped several international telecom cables, sparking widespread communication disruption in Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and elsewhere.

Problems also occurred as far away as Australia.

The earthquake left two people dead and at least 42 injured in Taiwan.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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Europe And Asia Must Up Response To Natural Disasters
Geneva (AFP) Jan 29, 2007
Asia continues to bear the brunt of the world's natural disasters and the region's economic boom has not yet led to effective response systems, a report said on Monday. Meanwhile, Europe's record on response and prevention is "dismal" given its high level of development, the annual report on natural disasters by the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) at the University of Louvain in Belgium.

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