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Major electricity breakdown in Pakistan, black out in several cities

3 min read
A major technical fault erupted in the power supply system which led to the breakdown

KARACHI: Major electricity breakdown in Pakistan hit the major cities including Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Islamabad, where the power supply discontinued for 12-15 hours.

A major technical fault erupted in the power supply system which led to the breakdown, officials at the National Power Control Centre told Pakistani media. The official said the fault occurred in the 500KV main transmission line.

The power supply restored in several cities while the remaining parts of the country will be restored in the next couple of hours, the official said. Efforts were being made to run the Tarbela power station to gradually resume the power supply, according to a Power Division spokesperson.

Power Minister Omar Ayub Khan is himself monitoring the restoration of supply work.  The electricity fault started at the Guddu Power Plant and affected the country’s entire power system within seconds, Federal Minister for Power Omar Ayub said.

In a press conference in Islamabad Sunday morning, he assured that the restoration of power has begun and 400 megawatts of power is being supplied to K-Electric. “We are still investigating the main reason behind the fault.”

The frequency at the Guddu Power Plant dropped from 50 to zero within a second resulting in the blackout. Ayub pointed out that due to the blackout supply of over 10,000 megawatts of electricity across Pakistan was suspended.

“We have started Tarbela twice and supply to LESCO and FESCO is underway,” he said. It will a few more hours before power is completely restored, he said, but refused to give a timeline for the power restoration.

Ayub said fog in multiple parts of the country has made it difficult to investigate the real reason behind the blackout. Restoration was also made difficult due to nightfall.

“We can’t say anything about the fault until and unless the investigation is completed,” the minister added.

K-Electric says it is working to restore power in Karachi and is prioritising pumping stations, hospitals and strategic installations.

A spokesperson for the company said power has been restored at the Dhabeji Pumping Station. So far, power has been restored in Landhi, Memon Goth, Baldia Town and some parts of Clifton.

According to the Civil Aviation Authority, no flight operations have been affected by the power breakdown. All airports have been shifted to backup power generators.

“All unnecessary lights have been switched off and flight operations will remain as per schedule,” a CAA spokesperson said.

According to NetBlocks, an organization that maps internet freedom, initially 62% of Pakistan’s observable internet connectivity was working. It said residential and business networks were most impacted in the blackout.

Six hours after the blackout it said there were few signs of recovery and that internet connectivity had dropped to 52% of ordinary levels.

“Metrics indicate that impact is highest at the edge of the network while critical infrastructure and telecommunication exchanges are less impacted, likely due to effective failover to backup power,” it said. However, many users reported on Sunday morning that there mobile phone signals had been impacted.

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