Nearly 220 million people in Pakistan without power after countrywide outage

Islamabad, Pakistan

A nationwide energy outage in Pakistan left almost 220 million folks with out electrical energy on Monday, threatening to trigger havoc within the South Asian nation already grappling with gas shortages within the winter months.

The nation’s Ministry of Power stated in a press release the nation’s Nationwide Grid went down at 7.34 a.m native time, “inflicting a widespread breakdown within the energy system,” based on preliminary studies.

“System upkeep work is progressing quickly,” the assertion added.

A “restricted variety of grids” within the capital Islamabad and the town of Peshawar have had energy restored, the ministry stated.

It’s unclear how lengthy the outage will final and efforts are underway to revive energy to varied components of the nation.

The outage comes because the nation’s fragile financial system continues to wrestle with a number of challenges, together with a extreme power disaster.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif ordered all federal departments to cut back their power consumption by 30%, whereas his authorities ordered all markets to shut by 8.30 p.m. and eating places by 10 p.m.

The choice to cut back power utilization got here as Pakistan introduced its overseas change reserves had dwindled to alarmingly low ranges. In December, the nation’s complete liquid overseas change reserves stood at $11.7 billion, which is half the quantity it held at the beginning of final 12 months, based on the central financial institution.

Monday’s energy outage is Pakistan’s most widespread energy shutdown since 2021, when the nation plunged into darkness for hours after a “sudden plunge within the frequency within the energy transmission system.”