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Damage to underseas cables disrupts int'l telecom services
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China Telecom said Tuesday a damaged underseas cable caused by a major earthquake off Taiwan Monday is responsible for disruptions to international telecom services.

The Shanghai branch of China Telecom said the earthquake and earlier undersea landslides caused by Typhoon Morakot had damaged nine underseas cables south east of Taiwan.

Five of the cables are used by China Telecom, one of the country's three major telecom operators.

The cables support phone and Internet services from the Chinese mainland to Taiwan, the United States, Japan, the Republic of Korea (ROK), and Singapore.

Traffic is being rerouted through operational cables and repairs to the damaged cables are under way. No timetable for the repair work was given.

China Unicom, another major telecoms operator, said Monday the breakdown of the FNAL/RNAL cable, a key information conduit for northeast Asia, had caused disruption to services from China to the United States and Europe.

Typhoon Morakot snapped a cable between Hong Kong and Taiwan on Aug. 12, but telecom services then were unaffected as a backup cable remained intact, China Unicom said. But the backup was damaged near Pusan, ROK, at 2:20 p.m. Monday.

MSN Messenger users from several cities in China including Beijing and Shanghai reported Monday afternoon that they could not log on to their accounts.

The earthquake, measuring 6.5 on the Richter Scale, hit southeast Hualien County in Taiwan at 8:05 a.m. Monday.

(Xinhua News Agency August 18, 2009)

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