Pakistan: Power Restored After Massive Blackout

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Power was gradually being restored to major cities across Pakistan Sunday after it was hit by a massive electricity blackout on Saturday night due to a fault in the power distribution system.

The blackout was caused by “an engineering fault” in southern Pakistan at 11:41 pm local time on Saturday (1841 GMT), which tripped the system and caused power plants to shut down, power minister Omar Ayub Khan told a press conference in Islamabad.

“Our experts are trying to determine the exact location of fault, which we have not been able to find out” he added.

Information Minister Shibli Faraz said that the transmission system was old and blamed the previous governments for neglecting it.

The blackout had plunged all of Pakistan’s major cities into darkness, including the capital Islamabad, economic hub Karachi and the second-largest city Lahore.

A water and power ministry spokesman said electricity had been restored to some parts of the country but many areas in Lahore, Pakistan’s second-largest city, and Karachi were still waiting. This was Pakistan’s second major power breakdown in less than three years. In May 2018, power supply was partially disrupted for more than nine hours.

In 2015, an apparent rebel attack on a key power line plunged around 80 percent of Pakistan into darkness.

That blackout, one of the worst in Pakistan’s history, caused electricity to be cut in major cities nationwide, including Islamabad, and even affected one of the country’s international airports.

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