Pakistan suffers power outage across all major cities

Shopkeepers wait for electricity to return following a power breakdown (AP)
Shopkeepers wait for electricity to return following a power breakdown (AP)

Pakistan has suffered power cuts across all major cities due to a fault in the national grid.

Blackouts are being reported in large swathes of the country including Karachi, Quetta, Peshawar and Lahore.

Supply to some areas has been suspended by up to 90 per cent, according to reports.

Energy Minister Khurram Dastgir told local media on Monday that engineers were working to restore the power supply across the country, including in the capital of Islamabad. He reassured the nation that power should be fully restored within the next 12 hours.

According to the minister, electricity usage typically goes down overnight during the winter months. “As an economic measure, we temporarily shut down our power generation systems”, he said.

Engineers tried to turn the system back on but a “fluctuation in voltage” occurred which forced them to “shut down the power grid” stations one by one, Dastgir added.

He insisted this was not a major crisis and said electricity will be restored in phases. Backup generators helped restore power in some hospitals and military facilities.

Karachi, the country’s largest city and economic hub, was also without power as were other cities such as Quetta, Peshawar and Lahore.

Imran Rana, a spokesman for Karachi’s power supply company, said the government’s priority was to “restore power to strategic facilities, including hospitals,” airports and other places.

Pakistan gets at least 60 per cent of its electricity from fossil fuels, while nearly 27 per cent of the electricity is generated by hydropower. The contribution of nuclear and solar power to the nation’s grid is about 10 per cent.