Power cut plunges Pakistan into darkness

A violent protest in Lahore, 2012, over load-shedding. Two protesters were killed at this event.

Pakistan has been plunged into darkness after the breakdown of a key power transmission line in the southern part of the country.

The power failure, one of the worst Pakistanis have experienced, has caused power to be cut in major cities throughout the country including the capital Islamabad.

The blackout began when a 500kV transmission line carrying electricity from the private sector Hubco Power Plant to the grid tripped.

The country’s state minister for water and power apologised for the inconvenience and said work was underway to restore electricity.

“On the Prime Minister’s directive, we are not to sleep till this problem is resolved,” he said in a message on Twitter…

Power shortages and scheduled shut-downs (called “load-shedding”) have been a serious problem in Pakistan for years. The country relies on hydro power and imported fuel. It is exacerbated by a fast-growing population, rampant corruption featuring people (including government agencies) not paying their bills and general all around incompetence.

Google “Pakistan load shedding protest” and there are hundreds of pictures.