Millions await relief as catastrophic floods continue to ravage Pakistan


ISLAMABAD: As millions of Pakistanis ravaged by extreme rain-induced flooding awaited relief on Friday, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa came under the spotlight for the sheer scale of devastation witnessed there in a single day. Balochistan province lost communication with rest of the country after overnight rains. The destruction of infrastructure and breakdown in communication links added to the difficulties faced by the authorities in rescue and relief efforts in the region. The air, road and rail networks in Balochistan were already suspended, cutting it off from rest of the country. “Due to torrential rains and flash floods in Balochistan optical fiber cable, voice and data services have been impacted in Quetta and rest of the main cities of the province,” Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA) said on Twitter. Efforts are being made to resolve this unprecedented situation, it added. Voice and data services were restored later in the afternoon, as announced by the PTA. A major railway bridge washed away between Kolpur and Mach in Bolan Pass, cutting off Quetta, the capital of Balochistan, from the rest of country for an indefinite period, officials said. All four highways linking Balochistan with other provinces were blocked because of damaged bridges and landslides. So far, more than 235 people were killed in province and hundreds of thousands lost their homes, the authorities said.



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