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Cities left in the dark amid major electricity breakdown across Pakistan

An aerial view of buildings and homes in Karachi during a nationwide power blackout in 2014. — AFP

Cities across Pakistan were left in the dark as a major electricity breakdown occurred late Saturday night.

The cities facing disruption include Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Quetta, and Peshawar.

The breakdown extended as far as Azad Kashmir. Furthermore, 29 districts across Balochistan descended into darkness.

Within Karachi, outages were reported from Korangi, Defence, Garden, Clifton, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, MA Jinnah Road, II Chundrigar Road, Liaquatabad, and FB Area.

Even the Jinnah International Airport remained without power.

Within minutes of the breakdown, the term #blackout became a top trend on Twitter in Pakistan with more than 12,000 tweets.

‘NTDC lines have tripped’

A few minutes into the breakdown, Islamabad Deputy Commissioner Hamza Shafqaat said that the National Transmission Despatch Company’s lines have tripped, causing outage.

“It will take sometime before everything gets back to normal,” he added.

Power minister explains issue

Minister for Power Omar Ayub, in a statement on Twitter, said that the “frequency in the power distribution system suddenly dropped from 50 to 0 which caused the blackout”.

“We are trying to ascertain what caused the drop in frequency.”

Ayub said that Tarbela “will be activated so a phase wise restoration can be carried out”.

He requested the nation to exercise patience.

“All of our teams have reached their respective stations. As the Minister for Power I am personally overseeing the work for restoration of power.

“We will keep you updated periodically over the progress in power restoration,” he added.

More to follow.

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