After typhoon Odette struck Siargao island in Surigao del Norte, communication services have been down—leaving stranded locals and tourists unable to communicate with their loved ones.
Telecom giants Globe and Smart have each announced their efforts to restore network services on the island by repairing damaged cell sites and adding other emergency equipment to quickly bring back calls, texts, and data browsing services.
Globe posted on their social media pages that they have restored network services in the municipality of Del Carmen in Siargao. The network provider added that they have also restored signal at the Surigao Airport and at the Lipata Seaport in Surigao City.
Meanwhile, Smart Communications announced that they have set up Tawag (call) Centers at the Kapitolyo nan Siargao (KNS) in Dapa, Siargao and distributed satellite phones to other Odette-affected areas such as Surigao del Norte, as well as Cebu and Leyte. The company also deployed their engineers to help repair damaged sites on the island.
Both network providers assured the public that network services will be operational soon.
The restoration of network services is a welcome update for the island, where power and communications have been down since the typhoon struck. The Department of Energy said earlier this week that Siargao, Surigao del Norte, Dinagat Islands, and Bohol will remain without power this Christmas, adding that restoring electricity in these areas before the holidays will be “challenging”.