Limited communications restored to CNMI

3:45 pm on 9 July 2015

Emergency services communications have now been restored in the Northern Marianas.

The territory lost its phone and internet connection with Guam and the rest of the world shortly after midnight on Wednesday when the lone undersea fiber-optic cable broke.

Guam-based Pacific Telecom Inc says a backup microwave link, connecting Guam, Rota, Tinian and Saipan, has now restored emergency services.

Its chief executive James Oehlerking says limited voice connections have been established between Guam and Saipan.

"We have been able to restore some basic limited communication that we have provided primarily to government agencies, first responders, there's also a typhoon in progress north of Saipan and so we want to make sure we got some basic level of communications available for dealing with the storm situation."

However, most other communication remains cut off, and is also affecting banking and credit card services, as well as internet and telephone services.

James Oehlerking says they are working to restore more lines, but it could be more than a week before full services are restored.

Cape Air says flights from the CNMI to Guam remain grounded.