Hurricane Maria: Dominica complete communication outage 12 hours

Sean Donelan sean at
Wed Sep 20 04:50:15 UTC 2017

Its very unusual to loose all communications with a country for almost 12 
hours in 2017.

During Hurricane Maria, essentially all communications were cut with 
the Commonwealth of Dominica at about September 19, 2017 at 4:00am local 
time. It took nearly 12 hours to re-establish any communications with 
officials on the island via radio. There has been some unofficial 
communications with ham radio operators, assumed to be on the island.

All power, wireline, internet and cell service appears to still be out. 
Its unclear how much is due to general damage which will take a while to 
repair or specific points which could be repaired quickly.

There are some VSAT links in Dominica, but I didn't get responses from 
the ones I tried.

Initial aerial fly-overs by CDEMA/RSS, a joint disaster agency by 6 
participating countries in the Eastern Caribbean, saw 70%-80% damage to 
buildings, the hospital and other infrastructure. The Barbados Coast 
Guard is sailing tonight towards Dominica trying to re-establish better 
communications for relief efforts.  Additional relief personnel are due 
to be sent in the morning, during daylight hours.

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