Pakistan hit by nationwide power outage after grid failure

Pakistan, including its capital Islamabad, experienced a nationwide power outage due to a significant technical fault, leaving large portions of the country without electricity.

On Monday morning at 7:34am (02:34 GMT), the energy ministry announced on Twitter that the system frequency of the national grid experienced a decrease.

“System maintenance tasks are advancing swiftly,” the tweet included.

In an interview with a local TV channel, Power minister Khurram Dastgir Khan stated that during the winter, the national grid temporarily shuts down power generation units at night to reduce fuel expenses.


He stated, in reference to the two cities in the southern Sindh province, “Nevertheless, earlier today, as the systems were activated consecutively at 7:30am, fluctuations in frequency were observed in the southern region of the nation, specifically between Jamshoro and Dadu.”

He said, “This is not a significant emergency. Power producing units were turned off individually because of a chain reaction effect, and there was a variation in electrical potential.”

Khan stated that the task of repairing the work may take up to 12 hours, noting that only a limited number of power grids have been restored.

The minister stated at a later news conference in Islamabad on Monday that electricity had been partially restored in various regions of the country, with authorities tirelessly working to resolve the problem.

He informed reporters that a three-member inquiry committee had examined the reason behind the power outage, stating that the power generation facilities can only be activated sequentially, yet we still require electricity. Fortunately, the distribution network remains unaffected.

Pakistan electricity
Volunteers of the Edhi Foundation, a non-profit social welfare programme, work at a communication and control room during the power breakdown in Karachi [Akhtar Soomro/Reuters]

Pervez Muhammed, a 54-year-old resident of Karachi, the largest city in Pakistan, said that his ailing father had been waiting for more than an hour to see the doctor at a private clinic due to a power outage that had shut down the electronic systems.

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He informed Al Jazeera, “Because all tasks are being carried out manually, even acquiring a token for patient consultation is time-consuming in a smaller location. Certain larger hospitals do possess generators to provide assistance.”

Arshad Kamran, the managing director of a Lahore-based textile company, said that he had to shut down his factory on Monday due to a power outage.

He stated, “Due to the power outage and gas shortage, our factory operations for the day are closed. However, we are still able to operate at 60 percent capacity for electricity and 40 percent capacity for gas.”

Pakistan electricity
A man sits outside his shop during a nationwide power breakdown in Karachi [Akhtar Soomro/Reuters]

Arshad, who is additionally a senior representative of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association, stated that the damages suffered as a result of the power failure might amount to billions.

He informed Al Jazeera, “The damages caused by this malfunction are likely to be in billions of rupees throughout the industry. Our own financial loss for a single day of no production exceeds 20 million Pakistani rupees ($87,000).”

According to an official at PIMS, the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, the hospital had to shut down its operating rooms because of a power outage.

However, officials at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), one of the largest public hospitals in Pakistan, said that the outage would not affect work.

Told Al Jazeera Jahangir Durrani JPMC spokesman, “uninterrupted five than more for work to us allow can which backup ample have we.”

The electricity failure in the nation of over 220 million individuals occurred during a continuing economic downturn.

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