Lights come back on in Pakistan after powercut left 210 MILLION people without electricity for hours


Lights come back on in Pakistan after huge nationwide powercut left 210 MILLION people without electricity for hours

  • People are forced to rely on smartphone lights and torches in Pakistan power cut
  • Major cities including Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi all go dark for hours on end
  • Residents are left in near total darkness as they wait for the power to be restored 

Hundreds of millions of people in Pakistan were left without electricity as the whole country was hit by a massive blackout.

The power cut went on for 18 hours before electricity was restored on Sunday as cities including the capital Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore went dark.  

A complex distribution system means a problem in one section of the grid can lead to breakdowns across the country.

The blackout was initially reported on social media by residents of major urban centres, including Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Multan. People are seen above on motorbikes in Rawalpindi, Pakistan

People were forced to rely on torches, smart phones, back-up lights and generators for power. 

Asia commentator and specialist Michael Kugelman wrote online: ‘Large areas of Pakistan have been plunged into darkness. 

‘It’s not the first time this has happened; the country’s power infrastructure is fragile. 

In the past, separatist attacks have been blamed for such outages. That doesn’t appear to be the case this time’.  

A shopkeeper is pictured using an emergency light to keep a light on in Rawalpindi of Pakistan's Punjab province

A shopkeeper is pictured using an emergency light to keep a light on in Rawalpindi of Pakistan’s Punjab province

A barber is seen cutting a customer's hair with a mobile phone torch being used as a light. The power cut went on for 18 hours before electricity was restored on Sunday

A barber is seen cutting a customer’s hair with a mobile phone torch being used as a light. The power cut went on for 18 hours before electricity was restored on Sunday

A complex distribution system means a problem in one section of the grid can lead to breakdowns across the country. The port city of Karachi is pictured above in near darkness

A complex distribution system means a problem in one section of the grid can lead to breakdowns across the country. The port city of Karachi is pictured above in near darkness

Power minister Omar Ayub Khan said that power was being restored in phases, starting with Islamabad. Later on Sunday, he he said that power had been restored to much of the country.

The blackout was initially reported on social media by residents of major urban centres, including Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Multan. The minister and his spokesman then took to Twitter to update the country.

Mr Ayub urged people to be patient. He said the cause of the incident was being investigated and work was being done to fire up Pakistan’s main Tarbela power station in the north-west, which would lead to a restoration of power in the rest of the country in phases.

A power loom worker is seen waiting for the electricity supply to return in Hyderabad, Pakistan. Teams were still working on restoring supply completely in the early hours of Sunday

A power loom worker is seen waiting for the electricity supply to return in Hyderabad, Pakistan. Teams were still working on restoring supply completely in the early hours of Sunday

Workers are seen waiting for the power supply to return in Hyderabad. Netblocks, which monitors internet outages said internet connectivity in the country 'collapsed' as a result of the outage

Workers are seen waiting for the power supply to return in Hyderabad. Netblocks, which monitors internet outages said internet connectivity in the country ‘collapsed’ as a result of the outage

He told a news conference on Sunday that the Guddu power plant in southern Sindh province developed a fault at 11.41pm on Saturday, which triggered the shutdown of other power plants in seconds.

The Ministry of Energy said that power had been restored in some parts of the country, and that teams were still working on restoring supply completely in the early hours of Sunday.

Netblocks, which monitors internet outages said internet connectivity in the country ‘collapsed’ as a result of the outage.

Connectivity was at ’62 percent of ordinary levels,’ it said in a tweet.

Power minister Omar Ayub Khan said that power was being restored in phases, starting with Islamabad. Later on Sunday, he he said that power had been restored to much of the country

Power minister Omar Ayub Khan said that power was being restored in phases, starting with Islamabad. Later on Sunday, he he said that power had been restored to much of the country

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