WORLD NEWS

Tonga’s internet finally restored 5 weeks after big eruption

Feb 22, 2022, 6:29 PM | Updated: Jun 13, 2022, 3:39 pm
Image shows ashfall on Nuku’alofa airport runway. (New Zealand Defense Force/Facebook)...
Image shows ashfall on Nuku’alofa airport runway. (New Zealand Defense Force/Facebook)
(New Zealand Defense Force/Facebook)

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Tonga’s main internet connection to the rest of the world has finally been restored more than five weeks after a huge volcanic eruption and tsunami severed a crucial undersea cable.

Three people in Tonga were killed by the Jan. 15 tsunami, dozens of homes were destroyed and drinking water was tainted.

The fiber-optic cable is now fully operational again after being reconnected Tuesday, said Samiuela Fonua, the chairperson at Tonga Cable Ltd., the state-owned company that owns the cable.

“It’s a huge relief when you know things have come to the end and are working well,” Fonua told The Associated Press. “It’s one step forward for the country.”

Fonua said the crew aboard a repair ship replaced about 90 kilometers (56 miles) of cable that had been damaged by the tsunami. His company didn’t have enough spare cable, Fonua added, and needed to borrow some from other companies.

The fix means that Tonga Cable can now focus on repairing a second severed cable that connects some of the outer islands to the main island, Fonua said. That cable runs close to the undersea volcano.

Fonua said that entrepreneur Elon Musk’s SpaceX company had also been helping restore connections through its network of low-orbit satellites called Starlink.

Fonua said his company had been testing the satellite connections this week and they had been working well. He said that now the main cable was restored, he hoped the SpaceX connections could be used for reconnecting people on some of the outer islands.

Officials in neighboring Fiji said SpaceX had established a station there to help restore connections in Tonga.

Tonga has also been grappling with its first outbreak of the coronavirus, which may have been brought in by foreign military crews aboard ships and planes delivering vital aid after the eruption.

The outbreak has grown to more than 250 cases but so far there have been no reported deaths. The country of 105,000 has begun easing some virus restrictions after initially imposing a lockdown.

Tongan health officials say that 90% of people aged 12 and over have had at least two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

World News

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK - JULY 04: Police at Copenhagen shopping center, Fields, where a shooter attack...
Susanne Gargiulo, Kim Norgaard, Pierre Meilhan, Jorge Engels, Tara Subramaniam and Jonny Hallam, CNN

Suspect in fatal Copenhagen mall shooting is remanded in psychiatric facility for 24 days, police say

A man arrested on suspicion of killing three people and wounding several others during a shooting at a shopping mall in Copenhagen is being remanded in a psychiatric facility for 24 days.
15 hours ago
Fire burns at a shopping mall after it was struck by a missile on July 03, 2022 in Sloviansk, Ukrai...
FRANCESCA EBEL, Associated Press

Putin declares victory in eastern Ukraine region of Luhansk

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday declared victory in the eastern Ukrainian region of Luhansk, one day after Ukrainian forces withdrew from their last remaining bulwark of resistance in the province.
15 hours ago
This undated image made available Monday, July 4, 2022, by the press office of the Autonomous Provi...
FRANCES D'EMILIO Associated Press

Rain hampers search for missing in Italian glacier avalanche

Heavy rain was hampering the search in Italy for those unaccounted for — perhaps as many 15 — a day after an enormous chunk of an Alpine glacier broke off and slammed into hikers.
15 hours ago
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 04: People view the flooded Windsor Bridge along the Hawkesbury River in t...
Associated Press

After 3 feet of rain, 32,000 in Sydney area may need to flee

More than 30,000 residents of Sydney have been told to evacuate or prepare to abandon their homes.
2 days ago
The grounds of the Tokyo Japan Temple in Tokyo on Sunday, July 3, 2022 (Credit: The Church of Jesus...
Michael Houck

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints rededicates Tokyo Japan Temple

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints rededicated its longest operating temple in Asia Sunday, after closing for about four years for renovations.
2 days ago
At least six people were killed and another eight injured following an avalanche of ice in the Ital...
Sharon Braithwaite

Ice avalanche kills six in Italian Alps amid heatwave

At least six people were killed and another eight injured following an avalanche of ice in the Italian Alps.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Tonga’s internet finally restored 5 weeks after big eruption