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Red Sea cables damaged, global internet traffic hit
Internet service
Photo Courtesy: Unsplash

Red Sea cables damaged, global internet traffic hit

| @indiablooms | 05 Mar 2024, 09:50 am

Damage to submarine cables in the Red Sea has hit telecommunication networks including internet services.

The disruption has forced authorities and providers to reroute as much as a quarter of traffic between Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

Hong Kong telecoms company HGC Global Communications said: "This is an exceptionally rare occurrence and has had a significant impact on communication networks in the Middle East, albeit with limited influence on Hong Kong."

"In light of this situation, HGC is taking immediate measures to mitigate any disruptions for our clients. We have devised a comprehensive diversity plan to reroute affected traffic, ensuring that our clients' communications do not pass through the damaged cables during this period. Our priority is to maintain seamless connectivity and minimize any potential disruptions," HGC said.

HGC said it estimates that 25% of traffic between Asia and Europe as well the Middle East has been impacted.

South Africa-based Seacom, which owns one of the cable systems affected, told CNN that repairs wouldn’t begin for at least another month, partly because of the length of time it takes to secure permits to operate in the area.

It is still not clear what damaged the cables.

The destruction of cables in the Red Sea comes weeks after the official Yemeni government warned of the possibility that Houthi rebels would target the cables, CNN reported.

The group has affected global supply chains by attacking commercial vessels in the major waterway.

Israel-based Globes news portal reported that four submarine communications cables have been damaged in the Red Sea between Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and Djibouti in East Africa.

Yemeni rebel leader Abdel Malek al-Houthi, however, denied all allegations.

“We have no intention of targeting sea cables providing internet to countries in the region,” he was quoted as saying by CNN.

HGC said in its statement said  Europe India Gateway (EIG) has also been damaged.

EIG connects Europe, the Middle East and India and counts Vodafone as a major investor, reported CNN.

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