Shetland is completely cut off from the mainland as phones, internet and computers are hit by blackout after subsea cable is cut
- Communications in Shetland have been completely shut down
- Phones, internet and computers are not usable amid the total blackout
- The south subsea cable between the islands and the mainland has been cut
Communications in Shetland have been completely shut down with phones, internet and computers in a total blackout after the south subsea cable between the islands and the mainland was cut.
Police have declared a major incident are patrolling to try and reassure residents.
Northern Police said in a tweet: ‘Engineers are working to fix a complete outage on Shetland affecting its connection to the main line.
‘Phones, internet and computers are not usable.
‘Officers will continue to patrol the area and we will give you an update on the situation as soon as we have more information.’
Police have declared a major incident after the south subsea cable between the Shetland islands and the mainland was cut
Repairs to another cable connecting Shetland and Faroe are ongoing after it was damaged last week.
A BT Group spokesperson said: ‘Due to a break in a third-party subsea cable connecting Shetland with the Scottish mainland, some phone, broadband and mobile services are affected.
‘Engineers are working to divert services via other routes as soon as possible and we’ll provide further updates. Our external subsea provider is also looking to restore their link quickly.
‘Anyone who needs to call 999 should try their landline or their mobile, even if they don’t have signal from their own mobile provider. We’re sorry for any inconvenience.’
Police Scotland is currently in talks with partners including the Scottish Fire and Recue Service and HM Coastguard to bring additional emergency support to the island.
Ch Insp Jane Mackenzie told the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme that police officers would be more visible on the island in the meantime.
She said: ‘We’re still trying to work to establish the full extent of the problem – we know there are some telephone lines working, 999 lines are believed to be working and some mobile networks are still working.
‘So anyone calling 999 should be able to do so from a mobile phone. What we would ask is if you have an emergency you should first try a landline or mobile to call 999.
‘If that doesn’t work, you should flag down an emergency service vehicle that isn’t using their blue light or attend either a police station, hospital, fire or ambulance station to report the emergency.’
Ch Insp Mackenzie urged the public not to use phone lines for non-urgent calls and to check on elderly or vulnerable people more frequently as assistance alarms may not be operating effectively.
The cable that was damaged between Faroe and Shetland last week will be repaired on Saturday, according to Faroese Telecom’s head of infrastructure Páll Vesturbú.
He said: ‘The damage is affecting most of telecom services to Shetland. There are some services still working but we will try to establish more services during the day if that’s possible.
‘We expect it will be fishing vessels that damaged the cable but it is very rare that we have two problems at the same time.’