"When an emergency strikes, it's critical that Americans are able to use 911 to reach those who can help", FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a press release Friday.
"Its breadth and duration are particularly troubling", he said.
Shortly after noon, CenturyLink announced it was "aware of some 911 service disruptions affecting various areas through the United States".
Some CenturyLink customers across the country were without the internet as outages stretched from NY to California, including in Kansas.
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CenturyLink spokeswoman Debra Peterson said the outage is not related to hacking, She declined further comment. It hasn't provided a cause for the problems.
Engineers by late Thursday evening had identified a "network element" that the company said was disrupting services.
The outages reported Thursday afternoon stretched from NY to California and even temporarily shut down phone services at the Idaho Department of Correction and knocked out 911 emergency call services in parts of western Washington state.
The company first acknowledged the problem on Thursday morning.
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It was later forced to issue a correction and an apology as it pointed to a lack of early warning systems for the high death toll. Almost 20,000 people have been displaced by the tsunami and almost 1,500 injured, according to Reuters .
In Idaho, Emergency Office Management Director Brad Richy said he didn't receive any reports of 911 service failures, but some state agencies, including the state Department of Correction, lost service on internet-based phones.
Some areas, like those in Pacific County, reported receiving 911 calls at around 4 a.m. Others areas, like King County and Thurston County, reported 911 service being restored at about 9 a.m. PST, KOMO News reports.
Lewis County, along with numerous counties across the state, suffered from a 911 outage Thursday evening into the early morning hours Friday due to a CenturyLink glitch. It fined AT&T $5.25 million for two nationwide outages in March and May of 2017 that lasted a total of approximately six hours, and resulted in the failure of 15,200 failed 911 calls.
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