Pakistan suffered nationwide power outages yesterday morning due to a “major breakdown” of the national grid, the Pakistani Ministry of Energy said, with factories, hospitals and schools affected in all its major cities.
The breakdown began at 7:34am, when a voltage fluctuation in the grid occurred between the cities of Jamshoro and Dadu in southern Sindh Province, Pakistani Minister of Energy Khurrum Dastagir said.
“There was a fluctuation in voltage and the systems were shut down one by one. This is not a major crisis,” Dastagir told Geo TV news channel.
Outages were reported in the southern port city of Karachi, the capital, Islamabad, the eastern city of Lahore and Peshawar in the north.
Mohammad Asim, a spokesman for Peshawar’s Lady Reading Hospital, the largest hospital in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, said backup generators were used to provide uninterrupted electricity for the emergency ward, intensive-care units and laboratories.
The ministry issued a statement saying that work was ongoing to revive the system and the minister said that electricity had been restored in some parts of the country.
Pakistan has enough installed power capacity to meet the demand, especially in winter, when it mostly has a surplus.
However, the country lacks resources to run its oil and gas-powered plants, and the sector is heavily in debt, and inadequate investment in infrastructure and power lines has resulted in the national grid suffering frequent breakdowns.
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