Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Asia wakes up to life without technology

BANGKOK: It was a tsunami for the digital age, a collapse of the virtual world that radiated through much of Asia and beyond after an undersea earthquake late Tuesday off the coast of Taiwan.

People woke Wednesday to find themselves without e-mail or the Internet and, in some cases, without telephone connections, cut off from the real world around them.

The earthquake, which triggered a tsunami alert and some physical damage, ruptured two of the undersea cables that are part of a communications fretwork that circles the globe.

Coming on the second anniversary of the Asian tsunami that killed 230,000 people, it was a reminder of the world's increasing dependence on communications technology.

Financial companies and technology services suffered most directly, with banking services and securities trading all but crippled. Operations from travel agencies to newspapers to schools were struggling to maintain their routines.

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