Elon Musk’s satellite Internet venture is helping to restore connectivity to the Pacific island nation of Tonga, said an official in Fiji, where the work is under way.
Tonga’s sole fiber-optic link to the Internet and the rest of the world was severed by a volcanic eruption on Jan. 15 and only limited connectivity has been possible since.
“A SpaceX team is now in Fiji establishing a Starlink gateway station to reconnect Tonga to the world,” Fiji Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said on Twitter.
Starlink is a division of Tesla chief executive Musk’s SpaceX aerospace company and last month Musk himself had taken to Twitter to mention that Starlink might be able to help.
The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano eruption triggered a tsunami that destroyed villages and resorts and blanketed the capital of the nation of about 105,000 people in ash, as well as cutting the fiber-optic communications cable.
The timing of SpaceX’s work is not clear, although Fijian Broadcasting Corp, citing Sayed-Khaiyum, said engineers would operate a ground station in Fiji for six months.
SpaceX did not immediately respond to an e-mailed request for comment. Tonga’s prime minister’s office and state telecom Tonga Communications Corp could not immediately be reached by telephone or e-mail.
Refinitiv shipping data show that cable repair ship Reliance has been off the coast of Tonga’s main island for nearly a week as it seeks to fix the damaged subsea cable.
Any improvement in communications is likely to be a relief for Tongans who have struggled to stay in touch with relatives abroad and to assist recovery efforts that have also been hampered by a COVID-19 lockdown.
On a beach in the Chinese coastal city of Xiamen, just a few kilometers from Taiwan’s Kinmen, life is carefree, despite some of the worst cross-strait tensions in decades. Ignoring warnings from Beijing, US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived in Taiwan on Tuesday — the highest-ranking elected US official to visit the nation in 25 years — sparking a diplomatic firestorm. China yesterday launched some of its largest-ever military drills — exercises set to disrupt one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. However, on Xiamen’s palm-fringed beach, there was little concern. “A war? No, I don’t care,” a young IT worker surnamed
According to Forrest Gump, life is like a box of chocolates because “you never know what you’re going to get.” Now, an Indian remake of the movie has been hit by boycott calls over years-old comments by its Muslim star, Aamir Khan. It is the latest example of how Bollywood actors, particularly minority Muslims such as Khan, are feeling increased pressure under Hindu nationalist Indian Prime Minister Modi. Laal Singh Chaddha, an Indian spin on the 1994 Hollywood hit with Tom Hanks, is expected to be one of India’s biggest films of the year. This is due in large part to its
ACROPORA REVIVAL: A marine science official said that the results of recent studies showed that the reef can still recover in periods that are free of intense disturbances Parts of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef now have the highest levels of coral cover in decades, an Australian government report said yesterday. Portions of the UNESCO heritage site showed a marked increase in coral cover in the past year, reaching levels not seen in 36 years of monitoring, the Australian Institute of Marine Science said. Scientists surveying 87 sites said that northern and central parts of the reef had bounced back from damage more quickly than some had expected, thanks mainly to fast-growing Acropora — a branching coral that supports thousands of marine species. “These latest results demonstrate the reef can still recover
Screams from soldiers being tortured, overflowing cells, inhuman conditions, a regime of intimidation and murder. Inedible gruel, no communication with the outside world and days marked off with a home-made calendar written on a box of tea. This is what conditions are like inside Olenivka, a notorious detention center where dozens of Ukrainian soldiers burned to death late last month, said a former prisoner of the camp outside Donetsk in the Russian-occupied east of Ukraine. Anna Vorosheva — a 45-year-old Ukrainian entrepreneur — gave a harrowing account to the Observer of her time inside the jail. She spent 100 days in Olenivka