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Cable damage triggers OIC major emergency plan

Work is underway to repair a fibre optic cable, following widespread disruption to Orkney Islands Council’s IT services.

OIC says that the cable, which is at Junction Road, Kirkwall, was damaged during work linked to the construction of the new hospital — which was being carried out by a contractor.

As a result, a range of council facilities, mostly outwith Kirkwall, are currently unable to access OIC’s computer networks.

Hayley Green, OIC’s head of IT and facilities, said: “This is a very serious incident for the council and we have invoked the organisation’s major emergency plan.

“A range of contingency plans have been put in place and everyone involved is working hard to resolve matters.

“A survey of the damaged cable is taking place. Once that is completed, we’ll know how long it is likely to take for repairs to be carried out and for systems to return to normal.”

A meeting of OLECG, the Orkney Local Emergency Co-ordinating Group, was held this afternoon so that partner agencies could be updated on the situation.

Areas effected include:

  • Burray, Dounby, Firth, Glaitness, Hope, Orphir, Shapinsay, Stenness, Stromness primary schools, North Walls junior high school and Stromness Academy. Anyone needing to contact the schools should do so by phone.
  • St Rognvald’s House, Smiddybrae and St Peter’s care homes. Their phone systems are also unaffected.
  • The Warehouse Buildings in Stromness. There is no public WiFi or internet access on the public computers. Card payments can be made in person, or by telephone, at customer services in Kirkwall, and payments by cash or cheque can continue to be made in Stromness.  The Warehouse Buildings can be contacted on 01856 850907.
  • Orkney Marine Services at Scapa. Can be contacted by phone on 01856 873822.

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