Where: The Mediterranean Sea
December 22, 2008: A ship’s anchor slammed into the ocean bed, ripping apart an undersea cable that connected millions of computers and telephones. Cut somewhere between Sicily and Tunisia, in the Mediterranean Sea, the cut ends of the cable are being searched by an undersea robot. The robot will bring the cable ends up to the surface, where they will be joined on a ship.
According to a story by the Associated Press, experts from France Telecom Marine sent the robot called ‘Hector’ down to the sea bed to start the search for the broken ends of the SEA-ME-WE 4 cable (which stands for South Asia-Middle East-West Europe 4). This cable links South East Asia to Europe via the Indian sub-continent and the Middle East. Repairing the cable will take time, because the ship’s anchor could have dragged the cable several kilometers from its usual position.
A spokesman for France Telecom Marine, Louis-Michel Aymard said that they would have to join each fibre of the cable separately. Because it is such a big cable, things will probably get back to normal only in the New Year.