Elon Musk Offers Starlink Internet at Volcano Disaster Site, Then Hesitates

The small island nation of Tonga was devastated by a volcano eruption that seemingly swallowed an entire island over the weekend. The blast was so strong that it released ten megatons of energy, the equivalent of 500 atomic bombs.

The nation is picking up the pieces. The airport and most of the islands were covered in a thick layer of ash from the blast.

The eruption appears to have severed the undersea communications cables, leaving residents without internet for an entire month.

Musk offered to provide internet access to the island via the company's Starlink service, but then hesitated about the proposal.

He asked if people from Tonga would let him know if it was important for SpaceX to send over Starlink terminals.

The Starlink emergency.

It seems like officials would be interested in the proposal.

After the Minister told me in a phone call that the telecommunications cable to Tonga was down, I immediately sent a letter to Elon to see if he would contribute Starlink to the emergency.

It may be difficult to get the Starlink terminals to Tonga.

Musk admitted that it was hard for them to do this right now as they don't have enough satellites with laser links.

He asked for clear confirmation.

The Starlink system was used by the company to help out in the fight against wildfires in Washington in 2020.

Will the space company step up to the plate? It's a million times more remote than Washington state, and Musk has already dived into emergencies before.

After a volcanic eruption broke its communication links, Starlink offered to send terminals to Tonga to help restore internet access.

More on Starlink: Musk's internet dishes are attracting cats.

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