After Massive Outage in Pakistan, Power Slowly Begins to Return

Pakistan's Energy Minister blames a sudden plunge in the frequency in the power transmission system for the national grid outage.
Loukia Papadopoulos

On Saturday night, Pakistan was plunged into darkness after a massive power outage, reported CNN. The event was caused by a breakdown in Pakistan's national power grid.


A plunge in frequency

"A countrywide blackout has been caused by a sudden plunge in the frequency in the power transmission system," Pakistan's Energy Minister Omar Ayub Khan said on Twitter while asking the population of 212 million to stay calm.

However, by 6:44 a.m. local time on Sunday, Khan tweeted that power had already been restored to major parts of the capital city of Islamabad.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Ministry of Energy tweeted that the initial investigation indicates that the thermal power plant in Pakistan's southern Sindh province developed a fault at 11.41 p.m. on Saturday night.

“The fault caused the country’s high transmission lines to trip, which in turn caused the system frequency to drop from 50 to 0 in less than a second,” the ministry tweeted. “The drop in frequency caused power plants to shut down.”

Back up power generators

The power outage, however, did not derail most major hospitals and airports that have back up power generators, since power outages are quite common in the country. It did lead to some long queues at gas stations as people hurried to buy petrol for their home generators.

"There are long lines outside petrol pumps in the city, cars are queuing as people buy fuel for their back up generators. I was in the line, people have been waiting for hours with petrol cans in hand," told CNN Akbar Saifi, a resident in Karachi.

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Most of the country's residents keep petrol-run generators at homes in case of such incidents. Here's hoping all power is restored quickly.

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