SpaceX has come to the rescue as New Zealand deals with the aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle. The company reports it is coordinating with the country’s Nation Emergency Management Agency to support connectivity during recovery efforts with Starlink.
New Zealand recently experienced its most damaging storm in decades when category 3 Cyclone Gabrielle hit it. The severe storm has cut off entire towns and communities, resulting in infrastructure loss. This has made rescue and recovery efforts harder, as communication remains difficult.
The country has declared a national state of emergency for the third time in its history.
To help with recovery efforts, SpaceX’s Starlink team has been coordinating with NEMA and other partners in New Zealand. The satellite internet service is supporting connectivity.
The Starlink team is coordinating with @NZcivildefence and other partners in New Zealand to support connectivity during recovery efforts after Cyclone Gabrielle
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) February 16, 2023
SpaceX said some users experienced brief outages during the storm due to failovers at some ground stations. However, it maintained a network uptime of more than 99% in the country, allowing loved ones to remain connected during and after the disaster.
Starlink is more resilient to disruptions by natural disasters or other causes as a satellite-supported network. SpaceX donated 100 Starlink terminals to Florida after it was hit by Hurricane Ian. Starlink also helped Tonga and Kentucky to cope with natural disasters.
Starlink is also helping Ukraine stay connected despite attacks on its infrastructure by Russia.