Adding fright to frenzy: Suspended cellular networks heighten terror

Published: October 29, 2015
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Manager says signal congestion prevented mobile calls from going through. STOCK PHOTO

Manager says signal congestion prevented mobile calls from going through. STOCK PHOTO

PESHAWAR: There is no doubt the earthquake was horrifying for every individual, however, the suspension of cellular networks and sudden inactivity of television systems left people feeling more vulnerable. Frightened locals could not call their loved ones following the incident and many were witnessed in a frenzy to reach home.

Amidst immense panic which washed over in waves after the tremors, all mobile networks were disrupted for at least 30 minutes across the provincial capital.

Cable networks, which are supposed to be a constant source of updates, were suspended for several hours. Panicked residents were glued to their television sets in hope of updates unfortunately to no avail. Locals believe power lines were most likely disrupted during the earthquake. According to a cable operator in Gulbahar, “Power lines were broken in the disruption caused by the earthquake.”

Another cable operator told The Express Tribune electricity poles collapsed and fell on other wires in Doran Pur, Tajabad, Gulbahar and Rampura which disrupted streaming in 40% of these areas.

When asked about the mishap, the manager of a cellular company denied any suspension of cellular service. He said congestion of signals was observed by the company since inhabitants of the affected regions started to make calls soon after the strong jolts shook the city.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 29th, 2015.

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