Islamabad, Jan 23 (EFE).- People in Pakistan woke up in darkness on Monday after a major power outage caused a massive blackout in a large part of the country, including the capital city and several of its main urban centers.
“Because of some frequency variation and voltage fluctuation in the south of the country in Sindh, power generating units started shutting down one by one,” Power Ministry spokesperson Sohail Atiq told EFE.
“The restoration of grid stations in Peshawar and Islamabad has begun through Tarbela and Warsek dams and we are hoping that power will be fully restored across the country within the next 12 hours,” he added.
Among the affected cities are Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta, as well as dozens of districts in their vicinity, the local power companies announced on Twitter throughout the morning.
Islamabad Electric Supply Co (IESCO), the main supplier of electricity to Islamabad, said that power had not been supplied to more than 100 grid stations in the capital.
Meanwhile the spokesperson for K-Electric, which supplies power to the country’s most populated city of Karachi, reported similar glitches.
Pakistan is facing a severe economic crisis that led the government to recently approve a new energy conservation plan to reduce consumption.
The plan includes measures such as the early closure of markets and malls as well as restrictions on the purchase of certain low-efficiency energy products.
In an attempt to save fuel costs, power generation units are shutting down at night in winter, Power Minister Khurram Dastgir told Pakistani media GeoTV on Monday.
Some experts estimate that Pakistan’s peak summer electricity usage is around 29,000 megawatts and some 12,000 megawatts in winter.
The South Asian country, which has a population of 220 million, has suffered several similar outages in recent years.
The largest outage was in May 2018, when a technical glitch caused several power plants to go offline, affecting some 130 million people. EFE