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Natural disasters

Tonga to be cut off from world for weeks as volcano severs cable

Phone and internet service down while satellite links hampered by ash

A New Zealand Defense Force flight shows heavy ash fallen over the Tongan island of Nomuka on Jan. 17. (New Zealand Defense Force via Reuters)

SYDNEY -- Repairs to Tonga's undersea communications cable likely will take several weeks after Saturday's volcanic blast left the South Pacific archipelago mostly cut off from the rest of the world.

The massive eruption damaged Tonga's sole international undersea cable, which links to neighboring Fiji. Internet and international phone services have yet to be restored.

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