Asian earthquake affects tech network

Internet and telecommunication services in Asia have started to recover after undersea cables were damaged by two earthquakes earlier this week.

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Internet and telecommunication services in Asia have started to recover after undersea cables were damaged by two earthquakes earlier this week.

But Asia’s technology infrastructure showed signs of recovery Thursday, following service disruptions caused by a series of powerful earthquakes off Taiwan's southern coast on Tuesday.

"It's improving by the hour," said Eric Loh, a spokesman for Starhub Internet, which offers cable and wireless internet services in Singapore.

A pair of powerful earthquakes rattled southern Taiwan within eight minutes of each other on Tuesday evening, local time, causing damage to undersea telecommunication cables, just as many in the region were marking the anniversary of the destructive 2004 Boxing Day tsunami.

Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said the first was a magnitude 6.7 on the Richter scale, but observers in Japan and the US said the earthquake was more powerful. The US Geographical Survey (USGS) said it was stronger at 7.1 and Japan's Meteorological Agency estimated it at a magnitude of 6.9.

The CWB said the second quake was slightly smaller, at magnitude 6.4, while USGS estimated the second quake at 7.0 and the Japanese Meteorological Agency estimated it was magnitude 7.2. Two people were killed by the quakes, and dozens wounded, according to press reports.

Repairing the cables will cost about $1.5 million (£771,000), Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom Company said in a statement to the Taiwan Stock Exchange. The operator, which lost much of its international capacity following the quake, lost approximately three times as much in revenue due to the quake, the filing said.

Repairing the damaged cables will take two to three weeks, Chunghwa Telecom said.