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Karachi rains: Prolonged power outages sink mobile networks as KE struggles to restore electricity

Karachi rains: Prolonged power outages sink mobile networks as KE struggles to restore electricity

KARACHI: Citizens of Pakistan’s largest city on Friday found themselves with little means to contact friends, family and co-workers as a breakdown of mobile data and phone services caused by extended electricity outages added to their woes a day after heavy rains wreaked havoc in Karachi.

Subscribers of multiple networks reported being unable to connect to cellular data and calling/messaging services, leaving them in the dark regarding the well-being of loved ones.

The outages were doubly frustrating to some as KE, the city’s only electricity supply utility, struggled to restore electricity to large parts of the city more than 20 hours after the first rain fell.

The national telecom regulator informed on Friday that cellular services in the city were not blocked and outages faced by users were due to the prolonged power breakdown.

Talking to media, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) spokesperson Khurram Mehran said, “Due to prolonged power failure in the city, many towers are out of service and their generators are shut because there’s no fuel to power them.”

Mehran said the blockages have nothing to do with Muharram security, as was being speculated in some circles.

The power utility, KE, meanwhile claimed that its teams were working to the best of their ability to deal with the current circumstances and restore electricity with limited available resources.

“Many KE vehicles got stuck in flooded roads and streets across the city. Also, our staff is working in long shifts because relievers were unable to make it to service centers due to water logging,” the company said in a statement issued earlier today.

KE therefore warned that restoration work may take longer than expected time as the situation remains ‘difficult’.