Telstra are once again in the eye of a storm – but this time its not due to the wrath of customers – rather the latest climatic disaster to hit Queensland – Cyclone Yasi.
The telco has been given a massive hit.
Both their fixed line and mobile services have been severely affected with 10,000 fixed land lines down and 25 mobile towers without power, affecting thousands of Telstra customers in the cyclone stricken state.
“However, these figures are preliminary and we expect it to increase throughout the course of the day,” Craig Middleton, Telstra’s Media Relations Manager told Channel News.
The mobile towers are cyclone rated but have never been tested to the extreme of Yasi, he said, which are down due to power outage.
175,000 people are currently without electricity, after the cyclone blasted transmission lines.
Telstra’s 450 network sites without power could increase the impact on mobile services.
“All things considered the network has held up well but it remains to be seen in the hours ahead and access could be an issue,” he warned.
The Telco will make a full assessment of the damage later today.
“I would be very surprised if there isn’t a lot of carnage out there, we just have to wait to the morning to see,” said Ingham mayor Pino Giandomenico.
I think the whole tropical coast will be a disaster zone”.
The category 5 cyclone which this morning was downgraded to level 2 is making its way through the northern Qld towns of Tully, Ingham Innisfail and has also wreaked some damage at Mission Beach.
Cairns are also on high alert.
“We have deployed 200 staff on site in Cairns and Townsville and hope to have things up and running again soon,” said Middleton.