Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

A prolonged, global outage of Facebook’s apps has the company’s engineers scrambling to fix the issue at one of its data centers in California, according to two people familiar with the situation.

The outage, which began around 11:40AM ET on Monday, has brought down all of Facebook’s apps — including Instagram and WhatsApp — globally, affecting billions of users and millions of advertisers. Inside Facebook, the outage has also broken nearly all of the internal systems employees use to communicate and work.

Several employees told The Verge they’ve resorted to talking through their work-provided Outlook email accounts since Facebook mainly runs on an internal version of the social network that is currently not accessible. While employees…

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