A huge storm has messed up India's Internet

India's richest man on India's digital age
India's richest man on India's digital age

A huge storm slammed into southern India this week, destroying trees, cars and buildings. It also damaged an underwater Internet cable, leaving many struggling to get online.

The impact of tropical cyclone Vardah disrupted Internet access across India.

Thousands of outages were reported in the 48 hours after Vardah made landfall in Chennai on Monday. While most of the problems appeared to be in Chennai and India's nearby tech hub of Bangalore, several other cities such as Mumbai and New Delhi were also affected.

"The cyclone in Chennai has impacted one of our undersea network cables which may affect Internet speeds," top telecoms firm Airtel said in a text alert to customers. "Our engineers are working to resolve the issue and services will be normalized shortly."

Chennai is one of India's main Internet gateways and houses the landing station for two of Airtel's international lines that connect India with Singapore and Europe.

The company did not respond to questions from CNNMoney about the extent of the damage.

British telecoms firm Vodafone (VOD) also reported outages in India.

"The cyclone Vardah which paralyzed Chennai and nearby areas caused disruption of some of our services as well," Vodafone India spokesperson S. Murali told CNNMoney. He added that service is being "progressively restored, and we should soon be back to normalcy."

But Reliance Jio, the newest entrant to India's mobile industry owned by India's richest man, said the cyclone only had a "negligible" effect on its Internet services.

"We are working on a war footing to ensure our service remains fully available to customers through this phase," a Jio spokesperson said.

Many Internet users continued to report problems accessing the web on Wednesday... that is, when they were able to find a signal and fire off a quick tweet.

-- Medhavi Arora contributed to this report

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