Pakistan hit by massive power outage, restoration efforts underway, minister says

Monday, 11 Jan, 2021

Shortly before midnight Saturday, massive power outages were simultaneously reported by residents of all major urban centres in the country, including Lahore, Islamabad, Karachi, Rawalpindi and Multan.

Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Rawalpindi and other cities plunged into the darkness due to the electricity failure.

Earlier in a tweet, Islamabad Deputy Commissioner Hamza Shafqaat said the blackout was caused by the National Transmission & Despatch Company (NTDC) system tripping.

Ayub urged people to be patient.

He said the incumbent government is spending over three hundred billion rupees to upgrade transmission system for smooth power supply.

Later on Sunday, he he said that power had been restored to much of the country.

Omar Ayub Khan released a statement following sudden countrywide power outage earlier Saturday saying the distribution line frequency dropped from 50 to zero.

"When a large plant trips, the voltage, and frequency drops instantly".

"By late evening, supplies from the National Grid were also resumed through existing interconnection points with K-Electric", it added. He said the reason for the frequency dropping was being investigated. Officials said emergency efforts were being made to restore the electricity, but it was not immediately clear when that would be.

He further said that the supply to the 500 KV Jamshoro grid and NKI Karachi was also restored. Essential facilities such as hospitals often use diesel-fuelled generators as a back-up power supply.

According to NetBlocks, an organization that maps internet freedom, initially 62% of Pakistan's observable internet connectivity was working.

In 2015, an apparent rebel attack on a key power line had plunged about 80% of the country into darkness, according to AFP.