WACS Breakage Caused by Dense, Heavy Sediment

The first repair to WACS by the crew aboard the Leon Thevenin is complete and the reason for the breakage is rather bizarre.By Brendyn Lotz
February 7, 2020

The first repair to the West Africa Cable System (WACS) by the crew aboard the Leon Thevenin is complete and the reason for the breakage is rather bizarre.

According to a tweet from the South African National Research and Education Network (SA NREN) earlier today, the reason for the break was that the cable was trapped under heavy sediment.

“Cable damaged occurred in the trunk section of the WACS system (offshore Congo), due to being trapped and embedded under dense heavy sediment caused by the flow of turbulent waters in the submarine canyon,” said SA NREN.

While it’s not as exciting as sharks attacking undersea cables, it is the first breakage of its kind and thus made for a challenging repair.

SA NREN has also said that repairs to the WACS cable closer to the UK are expected to be complete by 12th February.

As for the breakage on the South Atlantic 3/West Africa Submarine Cable (SAT3/WASC), those repairs commenced on Thursday with repairs expected to be complete by 12th February.

We’re sure you can agree that these repairs have been a Herculean task and the fact we’ll likely be back at full capacity by March is rather impressive. Even more impressive is that the majority of South Africans have remained online albeit with noticeably slower speeds.

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