Pakistan's Balochistan Province Disconnected From World Due To Floods

Pakistan's Balochistan Province Disconnected From World Due To Floods

Islamabad: The ongoing monsoon rain, cloud bursts and flash floods have wrecked havoc across Pakistan, with over 70 per cent of the country severely affected and Balochistan being among the worst hit provinces. Balochistan has lost all means of connection, travel routes and access from the rest of the country. 

Railway tracks, internet services and telecommunication services have been disrupted due to the extensive damage caused by torrential rain and flash floods in several areas, including the provincial capital Quetta.

Relief operations to the flood affected areas have become close to impossible as Balochistan’s connection via roads, air and train has also been disconnected.

As per the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTI), services have been impacted in Quetta, Ziarat, Khuzdar, Loralai, Pishin, Chaman, Panjgur, Zhob, Qila Saifullah and Qila Abdullah because of damage to optical fibre cables.  “Efforts are being made to resolve the unprecedented situation. PTA is monitoring the situation and further updates will be shared,” the authority said.

This is the third time in less than a week that cellular and internet services have been disrupted.

Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) stated that due to multiple cuts in the Ghotki, Khairpur and Sukkur districts, the telecommunication services have been disrupted.  Another reason for the cable cuts is because of the use of heavy machinery for relief and rescue activities being done in Sukkur and its surrounding districts.  “Due to extensive flooding, most of the pathways of underground cables have been submerged, as relief workers or locals were trying to divert floodwater by digging trenches on roads and footpaths,” said Syed Aminul Haque, Minister for IT and Telecom.  “The situation is serious and more such incidents could be expected in the near future,” he said.  Monsoon rains in Pakistan have killed over 900 people till now. The government has officially declared a flood emergency in the country. 

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According to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Pakistan received at least 166.8mm of rain in August, which is at least 241 per cent more than the average 48 mm every year.  Balochistan, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab provinces are among the worst hit areas, with flood water inundating towns, cities and agricultural fields. The devastation is the worst in the country’s history as it braces for more rainfall in the coming days.