Starlink lifts off in Asia as satellite internet race heats up

Starlink lifts off in Asia as satellite internet race heats up

On Jan. 15, 2022, Tonga was battered by a brutal tsunami, triggered by an underwater volcano erupting with a force far greater than the equivalent energy of the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima. On shore, people described their ears ringing as they raced for safety, while ash and dust coated trees and buildings.

But even as recovery efforts began, the island with a population of 100,200 was largely cut off from the world, as the Southern Cross Cable, which links Tonga to the internet, was damaged.

Tonga resident Malia Fuimaono, who was stuck in Fiji during the aftermath of the tsunami as she waited for a repatriation flight back home after completing her studies, recalls the worrying moment when communication and power was knocked out.

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