Islamabad, Jan 10 (efe-epa).- Pakistani authorities were on Sunday trying to restore electricity across the country after a massive blackout left the country in darkness since the previous night, an occurrence which continues to be investigated.
The energy ministry tweeted in the early hours of Sunday that at 11.41 pm on Saturday the Guddu power plant in northern Pakistan developed a technical fault, which “caused the country’s high transmission lines to trip.”
This “in turn caused the system frequency to drop from 50 to 0 in less than a second. The drop in frequency caused power plants to shut down,” the statement explained.
Energy Minister Omar Ayub Khan said in a press conference on Sunday that the causes behind the technical outage at the Guddu plant were still unknown due to intense fog in the area, local media outlets reported.
The minister kept tweeting information throughout the day of power supply being restored in the country in phases, with urban areas such as Islamabad, southern Karachi and eastern Lahore already getting back regular electricity supply.
This is the second major blackout in Pakistan in recent years, after a similar incident in May 2018, when a technical fault in the 500 Kilowatt power supply lines in Guddu led to a number of power plants tripping.
However, at the time the power cuts had affected just the provinces of Punjab – with a population of around 100 million, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (30 million) – amounting to around half of Pakistan’s 220-million inhabitants.
For years Pakistan has been facing chronic power shortages which have made power cuts so common that the power supply companies’ websites even publish timetables of the cuts.
Moreover, around 69 million Pakistanis continue live without a power connection according to Lighting Asia, a World Bank program to increase energy access. EFE-EPA