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Torrential rains devastated telecom infrastructure.

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Like the previous year, this year the heavy rains and floods have caused great damage to the properties of the people as well as the entire infrastructure. Public transport, basic infrastructure such as houses, schools, health centres, bridges, roads, rail links and telecommunication networks have been severely damaged. Pakistan battled to cope with the worst floods in living memory affecting more than 25 million people and killing up to 300. Local and foreign aid agencies have warned that the destruction of transport and communication links is leaving many victims of the Pakistani floods virtually cut off" from outside help. It is difficult to estimate the loss due to rains and floods but at least 5.3 million people and 1.2 million homes have been affected, with 1.7 million acres of arable land inundated but the losses to high.

Telecom and internet companies fear massive losses as their network infrastructure have been hit by ravaging floods and heavy rains that have unabatedly caused havoc in many cities and villages of the country. The telephony and internet services have been widely disrupted and paralysed in flood and rain hit areas particularly in cities of Sindh, Punjab, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balistan and Kashmir. Telecommunication and Internet infrastructure lying underground are believed to have been dented by rains and floods such as telephone exchanges, optic fibres and connectivity wires at large. The traders and general public have showed worried as the cellular companies services halt in the rain affected areas. The mobile phone operators are working to restore services at earliest. The PTCL has restored communication services in flood-hit Chitral area.

Moreover, wireless-based telecommunication and Internet network infrastructure such as cellular, wireless loops services and WiMAX broadband services might also face slight damages but their services witnessed interruptions in many areas owing to frequent rains and shortage of electricity supply in Base Transceiver Towers (BST) or signal transmission sites. A telecom analyst said the stranded floodwater destroyed the undersurface infrastructure in cities and caused financial losses to landline telephone operators in order to carry out massive repair work afterwards. Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that SMS service has been started for giving advance warning to the people living near rivers regarding flood situation. He said the SMS service had been launched for shifting these people to safer places.

He instructed that the Cabinet Committee on Flood and administrations of districts concerned should complete all protective arrangements in time to cope with flood. He said that timely evacuation of the people of the areas where there was a threat of flood should be ensured and all-out measures should be taken for the protection of life and property of citizens. He said that no excuse would be acceptable regarding safe evacuation of the people. He said that every need of the flood affected areas would be fulfilled. He said army, administration, police, Rescue 1122 and other institutions concerned were working in an active manner. India released more water into Pakistani rivers as floods continued to play havoc in different areas affecting hundreds of thousands of people.

India released 170,000 cusecs water, resulting high flood warning has been issued for River Sutlaj near Kasur. District administration has issued warning to evacuate the house near the river. Earlier, India had released 100, 900 cusecs water from Harike Head Works. Around 84,000 cusecs water, released from Ferozpur Head Works of India, has entered Pakistani limits and will reach at GandaSinghwala near Kasur. Meanwhile, with 170,000 cusecs floodwater in Ravi River has wreaked havoc in the adjacent area of Sahiwal by destroying mud houses and standing crops on thousands of acres. Relief and rescue operations are underway in the flood hit areas across the country. Civil administration and Army contingents are actively participating in these operations.

The Provincial Disaster Management Authority Punjab is providing three time meal to flood affectees in relief camps set up in seven flood hit districts of the province. Relief Commissioner Punjab Nadeem Ashraf said the authority has so far provided eight thousand six hundred tents and two hundred and thirty two boats to the district administrations. The Punjab Relief Commissioner said vaccination of livestock is also being carried out in the flood hit areas. Relief and rescue operations are in full swing in the flood hit Katcha areas of Ghotki, Kashmor, Larkana, Sukkur and Khairpur in Sindh. More than five hundred villages of these areas have been inundated due to rising flood water in river Indus.

In Chitral, relief items are being air-dropped in the flood hit areas while in GilgitBaltistan, the government has accelerated relief activities for the flood affected people. Member Disaster Risk Reduction of National Disaster Management Authority Ahmad Kamal says so far one hundred and fifty six thousand people have been shifted to safer places from flood affected areas. Director-General PDMA KPK Amir Afaaq said different organizations are making coordinated efforts to provide shelters, clean drinking water and health facilities to the flood affected people. He said a help desk has been established by PDMA for prompt removal of grievances of affected people.
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Publication:Flare
Date:Aug 31, 2015
Words:849
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