Major power blackout plunges Pakistan into darkness

Power supply in Pakistan was gradually being restored following a huge blackout across the country, including major cities like Karachi, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Islamabad and Multan.

Homes nationwide were suddenly plunged into darkness from about midnight.

The outage is believed to have been caused by a fault at a power plant in the south of the country.

Power cuts are not uncommon in Pakistan. Essential facilities such as hospitals often use diesel-fuelled generators as a back-up power supply.

“A countrywide blackout has been caused by a sudden plunge in the frequency in the power transmission system,” Pakistan’s power minister, Omar Ayub Khan said on Twitter.

He added that the outage occurred after a fault developed at the Guddu power plant in Sindh province shortly before midnight on Saturday.

Blackouts sometimes occur in Pakistan because of chronic power shortages, with many areas having no electricity for several hours a day. The issue has previously led to street protests.

In 2013, Pakistan’s electricity network broke down completely after a power plant in south-western Balochistan province developed a technical fault.