Some undersea fibre-optic cables that carry internet and communications traffic to parts of Southeast Asia and China have already been repaired while officials continue to assess damage to others, a spokesperson for Chunghwa Telecom said on Friday. Six of the important fiber-optic cables were damaged by undersea landslides caused by Typhoon Morakot as it passed Taiwan. One was knocked out on August 9 as Morakot hit the east coast of the island, and the others were damaged after the typhoon passed to the other side. Internet and telecommunications were disrupted between Taiwan, China, Hong Kong and parts of Southeast Asia, including Singapore and the Philippines. However, Chunghwa Telecom of Taiwan restored service quickly by using backup systems and rerouting traffic to other cables. The APCN2 (Asia-Pacific Cable Network 2) was damaged in at least two places, said Chen Hui-yen, a deputy director at Chunghwa's network management division. One part, which runs between Singapore and Malaysia, was fixed on Friday morning, she said, while a portion of the cable near Taiwan has not been repaired yet, although a team has been dispatched to the location. Chen did not know the cause of the problem with the cable section between Singapore and Malaysia. She said some voice traffic and Internet traffic has been affected by the outages but rerouting has alleviated most problems. The five other undersea cables damaged near Taiwan by Morakot were the SWM-3 (Southeast Asia-Middle East-Western Europe 3), the APCN (Asia-Pacific Cable Network), C2C Cable Network East Asia Crossing (EAC), C2C Cable Network, and Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe North Asia Loop (FNAL). One factor complicating repairs of the undersea cables has been trying to coordinate the various groups invested in the cables, Chen says. She was unable to offer a time frame for when repairs might be completed. Undersea fibre-optic cables carry the bulk of the world's internet and communications traffic. Natural disasters such as earthquakes and deep-sea landslides can disrupt the cables.
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