Lahore - The country suddenly plunged into darkness early on Sunday with most of the major cities including Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta witnessing a major power breakdown after a ‘fault’ developed in the national grid, reported a private TV channel.

The tripping of Guddu power plant’s transmission lines affected the 500KW power line from the national grid, forcing Jamshoro and Bin Qasim power stations to shut down.

In Balochistan, 22 districts suffered a sudden power breakdown. QESCO officials said, 220KW transmission line was abruptly suspended. The other districts include Pishin, Khuzdar, Mastung, Kalat, Sibi, Bolan and adjoining areas.

More that 70 per cent of Karachi was in darkness after a sudden power failure struck the country’s industrial capital.

It has already been reported that the country may experience prolonged power outages or eventual blackout as a result of acute shortage of furnace oil.

The report said that power production from Jamshoro power plant has been decreased to 170mw from 570mw.

Similarly, power generation from Muzaffargarh plant after a decrease of 700MW was 360MW only, while Faisalabad power plant has suspended power generation due to non-availability of furnace oil.

Also, power production from Hubco and Kapco after a decrease of 1300MW stood at 1051MW.

Due to acute shortage of furnace oil, power shortfall has stood above 6700mw in the country.

According to the Power Ministry’s report, demand of electricity has surged to 14000mw, while the generation has reduced to only 7,000MW.

News channels reported that a major fault had developed in the safety valves at the Muzaffargarh Thermal Power Station. National Transmission and Despatch Company officials said they were hoping to fix the problem and restore power supply in the next few hours.

K-Electric, which supplies 650 mega watts of power to Karachi, explained that a tripping of the National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) line had a cascading effect and de-synced their supply. Due to the power outage, the Dhabeji pumping station stopped functioning and supply of water to Karachi was interrupted.

Saturday’s power outage follows a similar outage last month where large parts of the country were left without power after a fault that emanated from the Guddu power plant.