The electricity distribution system in the country of more than 210 million people is a complex and delicate grid, and a problem in one section of the grid can lead to cascading outages across the country.
“A power outage across the country was caused by a sudden drop in frequency in the electricity transmission system,” Energy Minister Omar Ayub Khan said on Twitter.
A spokesperson for the Energy Ministry said the incident was caused by a fault in southern Pakistan at 11:41 p.m. local time on Saturday (1841 GMT).
Blackout complet de Multan !! ..
– Ayan (@arcturut) January 9, 2021
The blackout is one of the worst the country has seen and cities affected include the economic hub, Karachi, and the country’s second largest city, Lahore.
Khan said power was being restored to the cities in stages, starting with Islamabad.
Netblocks, which monitors internet outages, said internet connectivity in the country had “collapsed” as a result of the outage.
Connectivity was at “62% of regular levels,” he said in a tweet.
In 2015, an apparent rebel attack on a key power line plunged about 80 percent of Pakistan into darkness.
The blackout resulted in a power cut in major cities across the country, including Islamabad, and even affected one of the country’s international airports.