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Communication lines restored as relentless rains cut off Quetta

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  • Quetta’s internet, mobile phone services, electricity fully restored.
  • Air, railway routes closed; Pakistan’s death toll crosses 930.
  • “Affected voice, data services in Balochistan restored,” PTA says.

Relentless rains continued to pound Quetta on Friday, leaving Balochistan’s capital cut off from the rest of the country, however, communication lines were restored in the city after being cut for nearly 24 hours.

“Affected voice and data services in Balochistan have been restored,” the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) announced on its official Twitter handle.

Earlier, the telecommunication authority said that due to torrential rains and flash floods, the company’s optical fibre cable had been damaged.

“The PTA said that voice and data services have been impacted in Quetta, Ziarat, Khuzdar, Loralai, Pashin, Chaman, Panjgor, Zhob, Qila Saifullah, and Qila Abdullah.

Severe overnight rains hampered rescue efforts, and caused internet and mobile phone service outages, aside from disrupting the city’s air and land routes.

A key railway bridge which connects Quetta to other parts of Pakistan collapsed and flight operations to and from the provincial capital’s airport were also suspended.

The railway bridge collapsed near the Mach area in the Bolan district in the early hours of Thursday, which also suspended trade with Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey, a Pakistan Railways official said.

“Authorities have launched efforts to repair the bridge that was built by the British in 1885,” the official added.

In light of the rapidly worsening situation, the city administration issued a flood warning and asked people to contact two emergency numbers — 03368186794 and 03361187348 — in case of need.

Unfortunately, with no electricity since last night, police personnel and civil administration are not reachable on the issued numbers.

Pakistan Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) official Faisal Tariq said that hundreds were stranded due to floods after the heavy rains, however, rescue efforts were underway to take people to safe places.

Over 930 dead, more than 670,000 houses damaged

In its latest report on the rain-related damage, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) revealed that 34 more people died during the last 24 hours.

As a result of the fresh death toll, the total countrywide count has risen to 937 during this monsoon season, while 1,343 were injured after the new tally of injuries.

The report stated that more than 670,000 houses were damaged while nearly 800,000 animals died in the floods. It added that Tarbela Dam is filled to capacity while Chashma Barrage was about to be filled.

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The IHC upholds Bushra Bibi’s request to be transferred from Bani Gala to Adiala Jail.

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Bushra Bibi’s request to be transferred from Bani Gala to Adiala Jail was granted by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday.

The former first lady Bushra Bibi’s application to be transferred from Bani Gala sub-jail to Adiala was heard today.

Details reveal that the Islamabad High Court heard a motion to restore the denied petition about the relocation of Bushra Bibi, the wife of PTI founder, from sub-jail Bani Gala to Adiala.

The application for the reinstatement of appeal was heard by Justice Miagul Hassan Aurangzeb. When state attorney Abdul Rehman entered the courtroom on behalf of the state, Usman Riaz Gill represented the former first lady.

State counsel did not object to the appeal being restored during court proceedings. At the following hearing, the court asked for assistance in determining what conditions must be met for a location to be designated as a sub-jail.

The court also mandated that Bushra Bibi’s medical examination be scheduled. The court subsequently delayed the hearing and gave instructions to fix the appeal for April 22.

Recall that the attorneys for former first lady Bushra Bibi, Barrister Salman Safdar, Usman Riaz Gill, and Khalid Yusuf Chaudhary, had filed an application to restore the dismissed appeal a day ago, but the Islamabad High Court had denied their request to pursue the case.

The petition contended that the traffic gridlock at the Sarina Chowk checkpoint was the reason for the delay in getting to the court.

The attorneys did not purposefully take their time getting to court. They warned that the petitioner would suffer irreversible loss if the petition was not resurrected.

IHC Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb has voiced his displeasure at the absence of attorneys from the court.

According to Judge Aurangzeb, the former first lady would have been imprisoned if Bushra Bibi’s attorneys had prevailed in this case. The attorneys themselves were opposed to Bushra Bibi’s incarceration.

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oath-taking ceremony for the Balochistan cabinet postponed

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The Balochistan cabinet’s oath-taking ceremony, which was supposed to take place at the Governor’s House today (Thursday), has been rescheduled.
The Governor’s House spokeswoman announced that the Balochistan cabinet’s swearing-in event has been postponed. Nevertheless, there was no explanation provided for the ceremony’s postponement.

It is important to note that the 14-member Balochistan cabinet, which consists of two members from the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) and six ministers from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was set to take the oath of office today, Thursday.

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PMD forecasts rain throughout the majority of the nation.

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During the next 24 hours (Thursday–Friday), the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) has predicted rain, windstorms, thunderstorms, and a few torrential downpours or hailstorms throughout the majority of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan, Kashmir, Islamabad, Punjab, and Balochistan.

In several areas of Sindh, a rain-windstorm/thunderstorm is anticipated. Much of Balochistan is being hit by a powerful westerly wave trough, which is expected to spread to the top regions by April 18.

Prolonged downpours have the potential to cause flash flooding in Balochistani local streams and drains, particularly in Gwadar, Jiwani, Pasni, Ormara, Kech, Awaran, Kharan, Panjgur, Washuk, Noshki, Lasbela, Khuzdar, and Kalat.

On April 18–20, heavy rains could cause flash floods in tributaries of the Kabul River as well as in Dir, Swat, Chitral, Kohistan, Manshera, Gilgit–Baltistan, Kashmir, and other areas.

Lower Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Murree, Galiyat, Kashmir, and Gilgit-Baltistan are among the regions where landslides may occur.

At this time, standing crops, power poles, cars, solar panels, and other objects may sustain damage from wind, hail, and lightning, according to meteorologists.

Upper Sindh and Balochistan saw rain, wind, and thunderstorms in the past 24 hours. During the era, there were also significant rainfalls in South Balochistan. Wednesday’s highs of 42 degrees Celsius in Mithi kept it as the country’s hottest spot.

Officials reported that lightning-related storm-related occurrences claimed the lives of at least 65 people in Pakistan, where the rate of precipitation in April has so far been roughly twice that of previous years. Floods and house collapses were caused by heavy downpours that occurred between Friday and Monday. Lightning claimed 28 lives.

32 people, including 15 children, have killed and over 1,300 homes have been damaged in northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which has suffered the greatest victim count.

The meteorological experts report that there is little probability of rain, despite the fact that drizzle fell in numerous areas of Karachi.

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