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Telecom Services Suspended In Pakistan Amid Flood

telecom services suspended in pakistan

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: Amid the devastating flood situation in the country, the internet and telecommunication services have been suspended in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, announced the country’s telecommunication regulator, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on Saturday.

PTA on its Twitter handle wrote, “Communication services have been affected in Chitral, Upper Dir, Doonbala, Swat, Madin, Lal Qila Samarbagdir, Tank, and DI Khan due to damage to optical fiber cables and power outages due to heavy rains and floods.” “PTA is fully monitoring the situation and steps are underway to fully restore services,” it added.
On Thursday, the internet and mobile services were suspended in Balochistan.

The city experienced a power breakdown, hampering rescue operations and ultimately causing the shutdown of the internet and mobile phone services, Khaama Press reported.
As a result of flash floods, flight operations to and from Quetta Airport were also suspended while a key railway bridge connecting the city to other parts collapsed.

PTA, in a statement, had said that due to heavy downpours and flash floods in Balochistan and subsequent damage to optical fibre cable, voice, and data services have been impacted in Quetta, Ziarat, Khuzdar, Loralai, Pashin, Chaman, Panjgor, Zhob, Qila Saifullah and Qila Abdullah, reported Khaama Press.

The provincial capital of Balochistan was effectively cut off from the rest of the country after the ongoing torrential rains severed all sorts of communication lines, as well as land and air traffic routes.
However, the services were restored on Friday, PTA said.

Heavy rain and floods have recently resulted in connectivity issues across the country and on August 19, the internet services of Pakistan Telecommunication Company Ltd (PTCL) were affected across Pakistan due to ‘technical faults in the fiber network after heavy rains.

The PTCL in a message for the users via its official Twitter handle said: Due to heavy rains and floods, PTCL’s fiber network is experiencing some technical faults. As a result, PTCL users in northern and central regions are facing internet outage.”
Shehbaz Sharif’s government on Thursday officially declared a “national emergency” after rains and flood-related incidents killed over 900 and left at least 30 million without shelter.

The humanitarian situation in Pakistan has deteriorated further over the past two weeks as heavy rains continue to cause flooding, and landslides resulting in displacement and damage across the country.
Sixty-six districts have been officially declared to be ‘calamity hit’ by the Government of Pakistan – 31 in Balochistan, 23 in Sindh, nine in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and three in Punjab.

Millions of children, women, and men have been affected since mid-June, and over a thousand lives have been lost. People have lost their homes, livestock, harvest-ready crops, and their only sources of livelihood. Infrastructure across the country has suffered massive damage, and roads, bridges, and buildings have been washed away, Dawn reported.

The Pakistan Foreign Office (FO) Spokesperson Asim Iftikhar said on Friday “Around 33 million people have been affected. Close to a thousand lives have been lost. Rescue and relief operations are facing difficulties due to washed away infrastructure.”

“It is a moment of great challenge and adversity for Pakistan, as unprecedented rains and floods have caused massive devastation in various parts of the country, especially in Sindh and Balochistan.”
The country’s climate change minister Sherry Rehman, in a statement on Wednesday, admitted Pakistan is not able to deal with the flood situation on its own.

“Torrential rains unprecedented in Sindh right now, Balochistan, DG Khan also at risk. No question of the provinces or Islamabad being able to cope with this magnitude of climate catastrophe on their own. Lives are at risk, and thousands are homeless. International partners need to mobilise assistance,” she tweeted.
The minister said it is a humanitarian disaster of unprecedented monsoon proportions. Rehman added the provincial and federal governments were incapable of dealing with the situation given the magnitude of the disaster and urged international partners to mobilise assistance.

670,000 houses were damaged while nearly 800,000 animals died in the floods, the report stated, adding that Tarbela Dam is filled to capacity while Chashma Barrage was about to be filled. Over 30 million people have been heavily affected by floods in Pakistan as the South-Asian country seeks world support.
According to the country’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Since mid-June, 937 people have died from severe rain and flooding across the South Asian country.

On 26 August, the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) Flood Forecasting Division (FFD) issued a warning that very high to exceptionally high-level flooding is expected in River Kabul at Nowshera in KP province, as well as in tributaries of the Kabul and Indus rivers until 28 August.


(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by HW News staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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