Taiwan's leading telecom operator said on Wednesday that two jointly owned undersea cables linking Japan and the United States had been damaged by Japan's devastating earthquake.
(Aerial view of damage to Wakuya, Japan following earthquake image by Official Navy Page, CC2.0)
The cables, the APCN-2 and Japan-US, which serve as links for internet and voice services between Taiwan with the US, were affected by Friday's 9.0-magnitude earthquake, Chunghwa Telecom said.
The company said the bandwidth of its services had been reduced by around 30 per cent, but the impact on customers was marginal so far.
"There were impacts, but they were limited," company manager Chen Hui-yen said. "As of now we have received few complaints from customers."
She said it may take at least a month to repair the damage.
Asian telecommunications company Pacnet said it had begun work on restoring its EAC cable, which was impacted near Ajigaura in Japan.
"Engineers are working around the clock to continue assessing and monitoring traffic situation while expediting all processes to minimise any service disruption," Wilfred Kwan, Pacnet's chief technology officer told ZDNet Australia in a statement. "In parallel, our marine maintenance team is working on logistics and mobilisation of repair units."
The official toll of the dead and missing following the devastating earthquake and tsunami that flattened Japan's north-east coast has topped 11,000, with 3676 confirmed dead, police said on Wednesday.
Crews are also battling to avoid meltdown at a nuclear power plant crippled by the quake.