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Fire at Telstra Exchange

Published 22/11/2012

A fire has damaged the Telstra telephone exchange in Warrnambool about 4.55am today.

Telstra has advised that triple zero calls can still be made to emergency services from most mobile phones.

Areas where mobile phones may be affected include Portland, Dartmoor, Hamilton, Camperdown, Allansford, Koroit, Coleraine, Warrnambool and surrounding areas.

The majority of Telstra landlines and internet services have been heavily impacted.

These areas include Warrnambool, Dunkeld, Port Fairy, Portland, Heywood, MacArthur, Hamilton, Coleraine, Casterton, Edenhope, Penshurst, Camperdown, Cobden, Mortlake, Koroit, Terang and surrounding areas.

Affected residents should only be phoning triple zero if you require urgent assistance.

People should only attend police stations or hospitals for assistance in the event of an emergency if triple zero is not available.

Temporary phone lines are available for Warrnambool Police Station on 0481 389 783, Hamilton Police Station 0481 387 374 and Portland 0457 540 006.

Local councils will be making contact with people on the vulnerable persons register who they believe may be affected.

Telstra is also distributing satellite phones to identified people registered on their priority customer list which includes people with a serious medical condition.

Residents are urged to check on their neighbours and elderly residents to ensure their welfare.

The State Emergency Service 132 500 number is currently not available in the impacted areas. Residents should only call triple zero if urgent assistance is required.

Telstra has advised that ATM and EFTPOS facilities are not available in the majority of affected areas.

Residents should be aware that some V-Line passenger and freight services are experiencing some delays.

Optus has advised that their mobile phone service is operating and the majority of landlines are functional.

Telstra employees are currently on site assessing damage caused by the fire to determine what work needs to be done to rectify the situation.

Temporary infrastructure is being installed to provide short term mobile phone and landline communication.

Water, power and gas services have not been impacted.

It is currently unknown when the situation is expected to be resolved.

For further information and updates regarding this situation please tune in to your local emergency broadcaster.

This story first appeared on the Victoria Police News website.