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Undersea cables could take weeks to fix

Disruption to Internet service expected to last for at least two weeks, spokesperson says.

UPDATED: Undersea cable operator FLAG Telecom reports that damage to undersea cables should be repaired within two weeks. The company said in a statement Friday that a repair ship is underway to the site of the problem, and is expected to arrive around 5th February. Repairs are then expected to be completed within a week of arrival.

Two undersea cables have been severed offshore from Alexandria, Egypt, apparently after being hit by a ship's anchor.

Egypt has been hit hardest by the breakage, with up to 70% of the national network affected.

In the UAE, telco Etisalat said it is still assessing the extent of the problem, but expects to have a better picture of the situation in the next day or so.

Previous undersea cable problems have taken weeks to repair. Damage caused by an earthquake to seven cables off the coast of Taiwan by an earthquake in December 2006 took some six weeks to repair; while cables hit by storms off the coast of India in August 2005 took three weeks to repair.

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