Thursday 19th March 2015 – Port Vila, Vanuatu: Five days after the Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Pam devastated the island nation of Vanuatu, Digicel’s network has been restored to more than 70% population coverage.
When Cyclone Pam struck Vanuatu early on Saturday local time (GMT +11) with 300km/hour winds, it caused significant damage to communication services on the island. However, since then, Digicel has restored the majority of its network, enabling customers to make and receive calls, text messages and emails and access the internet in the capital of Port Vila, as well as the islands of Efate, Santo, Pentecost, Malakula, Ambrym, Ambae, Maewo, Mota Lava, Gaua, Sola, Vanua Lava and parts of the Shepard Islands.
“Following the significant damage caused by Tropical Cyclone Pam, we are pleased to report that a large portion of the network has been restored with more areas coming on line all the time. Restoring the Digicel network was critical in allowing communities, families and friends to connect, as well as providing vital communications to assist NGO’s and emergency services in their relief efforts. Together, with the Government and the National Disaster Management Office, our technical teams have been working around the clock to make sure this happens,” commented Michael Murphy, Digicel Asia Pacific CEO.
Digicel’s technical teams from across the region are supporting their counterparts in Vanuatu to restore the network fully in the coming days.
“We currently have engineers on the ground on the island of Tanna where work is progressing well – and we expect to have the network up and running there in the next 24 hours,” continued Murphy.
Public charging stations are being deployed across the islands so that customers can power their phones and Digicel is providing US$250,000 in free credit so that customers can get in touch with their loved ones as services are restored.
Further updates of network and service availability are being communicated as they happen on Digicel Vanuatu’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/DigicelVanuatu