State of emergency declared in CNMI

7:49 am on 16 July 2015

A state of emergency has been declared in the Northern Marianas due to the massive communications outage resulting from the severing of an undersea fibre optic cable between Saipan and Tinian.

Internet cable

Photo: AFP

The cable to Guam was severed by a boulder last week, cutting all phone, internet, banking and other services to the outside world.

The acting governor Ralph Torres made the declaration after a meeting with fibre optic cable owner IT&E.

IT&E says the Taiwanese boat bringing crew and supplies to fix the severed cable is expected to arrive on island in 8-10 days.

But the service provider says it still has no timetable when the network will finally be restored.

It says the repair of the fibre optic cable is expected to cost $US2 million, but its chief executive James Oehlerking says the expense will not be passed on to subscribers.

He also says subscribers won't be charged for services IT&E weren't able to provide during the network blackout.

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