Communication down in cyclone affected areas in Vanuatu

MANY of the areas affected by Cyclone Hola are still without phone network coverage, but the full extent of the damage is not yet knon.

More than a day after the cyclone left Vanuatu, families are still trying hard to reach their families on affected islands such as Ambrym, Malekula and Pentecost, but communication is still down in some areas.

Both Telecom Vanuatu Limited (TVL) and Digicel reported poor reception in some affected areas.

The Chief Executive Officer of TVL, Divik Deo, reported 20 per cent of intermittent network service in the northern province last Friday.

“The issue is mostly related to power as most of the sites are on solar energy and transmission. Our team is on ground, braving the weather to make a full assessment of the damage and to restore services,’’ he said.

“Services to parts of the northern islands have been restored. However, due to the inclement weather, you can expect the service to be intermittent as we are yet to ascertain the extent of impact to our network.

“We would like to apologise to our customers for service outages.

“We should be able to restore full service once the weather clears out for flights to resume fully to the islands.”

Digicel on the other hand reported that it is working to resolve network issues at Saraoutou on east coast Santo, Ambae, Pentecost, Namuka and Valesdir on Epi, Tongariki, Moso, Malampa and Sola on Vanua Lava.

Limited coverage indicates that some of the towers at these sites are offline causing poor reception, said Andrew Middlebrook Head of ICT for Digicel Vanuatu.