Wednesday October 27, 2021

Cities left in the dark amid major electricity breakdown across Pakistan

The "frequency in the power distribution system suddenly dropped from 50 to 0 which caused the blackout", says Omar Ayub

By Web Desk
January 10, 2021
An aerial view of buildings and homes in Karachi during a nationwide power blackout in 2014. — AFP

Cities across Pakistan were left in the dark as a major electricity breakdown occurred late Saturday night.

The cities facing disruption included Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Multan, Quetta, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Muzaffargarh, Narowal, Bhakkar, Kabirwala, Khanewal, Bahawalpur and Sukkur.

The breakdown extended as far as Azad Kashmir. Furthermore, according to Geo News' Nadeem Kausar, 29 districts of Balochistan were without power.

He said mobile and internet services have also been affected due to the breakdown.

Geo News quoted a Power Division spokesperson as urging against rumour mongering.

A 500kVA transmission line tripped, reported Geo News, adding that Jhelum, Tarbela and Mangla power plants are shut.


In Islamabad, all sectors lost power, reported Geo News.


Within Karachi, outages were reported from Korangi, Defence, Garden, Clifton, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, MA Jinnah Road, II Chundrigar Road, Liaquatabad, and FB Area.

Even the Jinnah International Airport remained without power.

Power minister explains issue

Minister for Power Omar Ayub, in a statement on Twitter, said that the "frequency in the power distribution system suddenly dropped from 50 to 0 which caused the blackout".

"We are trying to ascertain what caused the drop in frequency."

Ayub said that Tarbela "will be activated so a phase wise restoration can be carried out".

He requested the nation to exercise patience.

"All of our teams have reached their respective stations. As the Minister for Power I am personally overseeing the work for restoration of power.

"We will keep you updated periodically over the progress in power restoration," he added.

Fault's origin

In a subsequent update, Ayub said that a preliminary probe has revealed that the fault originated in Guddu at 11:41pm on Saturday.

"The fault led to tripping of transmission lines across Pakistan due to which in less than a second, the systems frequency dropped from 50 to 0. The dropped frequency led to a shut down of the power plants," he wrote.

#Blackout becomes top trend

Within minutes of the breakdown, the term #blackout became a top trend on Twitter in Pakistan with more than 50,000 tweets.