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Email has puts thousands of relatives and friends of New York residents at ease in the last day. Phone networks have buckled under the weight of demand and through damage from the terrorist attacks, leaving thousands concerned for people's welfare.

However while getting through to speak to people personally has become extremely difficult many have turned to the relatively new medium of email to assure folk of their safety.

Several readers have sent us emails telling of large queues outside public phones. One explained how he was amazed when he got back to his apartment in the suburbs of New York to find email working and a full inbox - one mass email later, all his friends, family and associates knew he was safe.

Since Manhattan has been evacuated, car traffic hugely curtailed and all flights across America halted, communication has been reduced to the phone networks.

The mobile network has suffered not only from huge demand but also from the fact that a main mast was situated on top of the one of the World Trade Center buildings. ®

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