Shetland shut-off: Major incident declared after phones and internet cut off after cable damaged

20 October 2022, 11:06

Shetland Islands shut off after cable damaged
Shetland Islands shut off after cable damaged. Picture: Alamy

By Stephen Rigley

A "major incident" has been declared on Shetland after a damaged underseas cable led to all communication lines being cut,

Authorities are working to fix the complete outage on the remote island, which has been left isolated from the mainland. The outage has brought down all phones, internet and computers. Police are patrolling to try to reassure those living there.

In a statement, Shetland Police said: "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."

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Ch Insp Jane Mackenzie told the BBC's Good Morning Scotland programme that there would be a more visible police presence on the island.

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."

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.