Pakistan suffered a huge power cut early on Monday following a breakdown in its national electricity grid. Restoration work is underway, the energy minister said.
People are silhouetted on vehicles headlights on a dark street during widespread power outages in Rawalpindi, Pakistan in 2021. (Photo: AP)
By India Today Web Desk: Pakistan, which is facing an alarming financial crisis, has suffered a massive country-wide power outage following a breakdown in its national electricity grid on Monday morning. Power was out in all major cities, including Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore and Peshawar. However, the government has insisted that this is “not a major crisis” and power would be back soon.
Here’s what is happening in Pakistan.
Pakistan’s Ministry of Energy tweeted that around 8 am there was a “widespread breakdown” in the national power grid but maintenance work is progressing rapidly.
Major cities such as Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar and several areas of Balochistan were affected.
Hours later, some of the grids have been restored and power is likely to be fully restored across the country within the next 12 hours, Dawn quoted minister Khurrum Dastagir as saying.
The minister tweeted, “The restoration of grid stations has been started from Warsak and Islamabad in the last one hour. A limited number of grids of Ply Company and Peshawar Supply Company have been restored.”
But what led to the massive outage? A frequency variation was reported in the southern part of the country between the cities of Jamshoro and Dadu when systems were turned on on Monday. The power generation systems are shut down at night in Pakistan since the demand for electricty is low during winter.
“There was a fluctuation in voltage and the systems were shut down one by one. This is not a major crisis,” minister Dastagir told Geo TV.
In Lahore, the metro services in one of the lines have been suspended. In Islamabad, as many as 117 grid stations are without electricity. Peshawar has also been hit by a power outage.
According to Quetta Electric Supply Company, 22 districts of Balochistan, including Quetta, are without power.
In 2021, a “technical fault” at a power plant located in southern Pakistan’s Sindh province caused a similar blackout triggered by a sudden drop in the frequency of the power transmission system from 50 to 0 in less than a second. It had a cascading effect and eventually shut down the entire power system. The power was restored a day later.