Massive blackout in Pakistan; major cities plunge into darkness
Pakistan witnessed a massive power blackout early on Sunday due to a problem in one section of the grid, officials said. The power outage, which was reported shortly after midnight, caused most regions of the country, including major cities, to go dark. The reason for the outage is said to be caused by a fault in the Guddu power plant in Sindh.
Major cities, Karachi airport, internet hit
According to reports, residents of Karachi, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Islamabad, Multan, and others faced the blackout. It extended as far as Pakistan occupied Kashmir, and even impacted operations at the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi. Netblocks, which monitors internet outages, said internet connectivity in the country "collapsed" due to the outage. Connectivity was at "62% of ordinary levels," it said in a tweet.
Fault in Guddu power plant triggered blackout
According to the Power Ministry, the frequency in the national power distribution system fell from 50 to zero in less than a second at a grid in Guddu at 11:41 pm on Saturday, causing power plants to shut down. Efforts were on to determine the cause, it said. Islamabad Deputy Commissioner Hamza Shafqaat said the situation will take some time to return to normalcy.
Not the first major blackout for Pakistan
Notably, back in 2015, around 80% of Pakistan had plunged into darkness due to an apparent rebel attack on a key power line. The blackout was the worst in Pakistan's history. At the time, major cities nationwide had gone dark, and even international airports were hit. The electricity distribution system in Pakistan is said to be a complex and delicate web.