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West, Central Africa see major internet outage with undersea cables down

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) -A major internet outage affected West and Central Africa on Thursday, the internet observatory Netblocks said, as operators of multiple subsea cables reported failures.

The cause of the cable failures was not immediately clear.

African subsea cable operator SEACOM confirmed that services on its West African Cable System were down and that customers who relied on that cable were redirected to the Google Equiano cable, which SEACOM uses.

"The redirection happens automatically when a route is impacted," it said via email.

Ivory Coast was experiencing a severe outage, while Liberia, Benin, Ghana and Burkina Faso were seeing a high impact, Netblocks's data showed.

Internet firm Cloudflare said in a post on the X social media platform that major internet disruptions were ongoing in Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Benin and Niger.

"There seems to be a pattern in the timing of the disruptions, impacting from the north to the south of Africa," Cloudflare Radar said.

South African telecoms operator Vodacom also blamed connectivity issues on undersea cable failures that impacted the country's network providers.

(Reporting by Anait Miridzhanian, Ngouda Dione and Nqobile Dludla; Editing by Hugh Lawson, Alex Richardson and Bernadette Baum)