Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on Saturday reported a disruption in communication lines in several areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa following persistent torrential rains and flash floods across the country. In a statement on Saturday, the PTA said flash floods damaged optical fibre cable and led to power outages, due to which there was an “impact” on the services. Services were affected in Chitral, Upper Dir, Donbala, Swat, Mardan, Lal Qila Samarbagh, Tank, and Dera Ismail Khan. “The PTA is monitoring the situation closely. Work is underway to fully restore services,” the telecommunication authority said. Meanwhile, telephone and internet services in at least 10 districts of Balochistan were partially restored, hours after they were suspended due to the damage caused to the cable network. According to the PTA, Quetta, Ziarat, Khuzdar, Loralai, Pashin, Chaman, Panjgur, Zhob, Qila Saifullah and Qila Abdullah suffered a massive internet and telephone blackout on Friday noon. The PTA said a serious damage to the cable and optical-fibre network due to torrential rains and flash floods caused the outages. The optical-fibre cable network of PTCL suffered cuts at three different locations due to the usage of heavy machinery for clearing floodwater, the PTA said. However, by-passes and satellite-based connectivity were used to operationalise telephone and data services in Quetta, the PTA added. Meanwhile, the PTA announced that all voice calls in flood-hit areas across Pakistan will now be free for consumers. The PTA statement added that cellular mobile operators (CMO) have decided to offer free-of-cost voice calls to facilitate flood victims. “CMOs will provide free voice calls (on-net/same network) to all their subscribers in flood-affected areas with zero/nil balance. There will be no call setup charges applicable on call connection and customers having no balance will be able to make on-net calls,” read the press release. The telecommunication authority further thanked CMOs for helping flood victims in these trying times. The PTA also stated that it is continuously monitoring the connectivity situation in flood-ravaged areas.