Attack on power lines in Balochistan causes nationwide blackout

Published: January 25, 2015
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Dhabeji pumping station stopped functioning due to the power outage and supply of water to Karachi was interrupted. PHOTO: ONLINE

Dhabeji pumping station stopped functioning due to the power outage and supply of water to Karachi was interrupted. PHOTO: ONLINE

An attack by terrorists on power transmission lines in Naseerabad, Balochistan, late on Saturday night caused the national grid to trip, plunging over 80% of the country into darkness, Express News reported.

The attack disrupted the 220 kilovolt Amperes (kVA) line from the Guddu power plant in Sindh to Sibi in Balochistan. This caused a cascading effect by tripping the 500 kVA national transmission line and forcing a number of power stations offline at around midnight.

Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali told Express News that the “terrorist attack” had caused the national grid to trip.

He added that key power officials were present in the control room and were working to restore electricity and it was expected that power to most areas would be restored by morning.

The cascading effect of the national grid tripping forced Bin Qasim and Jamshoro thermal power stations to go offline as all power companies in the country were affected.

The breakdown left many parts of Sindh, including parts of Karachi without power. K-Electric, which supplies 650 mega watts of power to Karachi, explained that a trip of the National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) line was having a cascading effect and had de-synced their supply.

Due to the power outage, the Dhabeji and Gharo pumping stations stopped functioning and supply of water to Karachi was interrupted.

In Punjab, Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Multan and Gujranwala faced power outages.

Five hours after the outage began, however, power was restored to some areas.

Fault in Quetta-Sibi transmission line

Balochistan saw a major breakdown in power supply with as many as 23 districts, including Quetta, were plunged into darkness at 10 minutes to midnight.

“The technical fault was developed near Guddu-Sibi 220 kVA transmission line. Power supply suspended to 23 districts of Balochistan,” a Qesco official said.

The spokesperson said that officials have been sent to detect the fault and restore power.

The affected areas include Quetta, Kachi, Sibi, Mastung, Kalat, Khuzdar, Loralai, Zhob, Naushki, Ziarat, Harnai, Muslim Bagh, Qila Saifullah, Qila Abdullah, Pishin, Khanozai, Kharan and other areas.

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

The prime minister too has taken notice of the breakdown.

Restoring power

The Ministry for Water and Power said early on Sunday morning that efforts were underway to restore power and that generation at Guddu and Uch-I had been restored, nearly three hours after the outage began.

Additional measures to restore power include taking support from hydel generation.

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Reader Comments (42)

  • Kiran Farhan
    Jan 25, 2015 - 12:49AM

    The incompetence of PMLN is mind boggling. No gas, no water, no electricity, no petrol. No law and order. We are worse than Bangladesh even.

    Recommend

  • Asok
    Jan 25, 2015 - 12:58AM

    Shouldn’t houses be having their own water kit powered generators by now?

    Where is Agha Waqar and his backers?

    Recommend

  • Inteha'Pasand Musalmaan
    Jan 25, 2015 - 1:08AM

    So on obama will be attending indias republic day and we will be without electricity.
    tells the difference between the two countries.

    Recommend

  • Omer
    Jan 25, 2015 - 1:09AM

    Give us a break!!! PML-N

    I am starting to believe that N in PML-N stands for nothing ….. as in nothing will be available once we come in power.

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  • Ali
    Jan 25, 2015 - 1:13AM

    PML-N tajarba kar team MY FOOT. Send these good-for-nothing useless pieces of crap home.

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  • kashif
    Jan 25, 2015 - 1:17AM

    I’m in UAE and want to cry for crisis after crisis in the homeland :(

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  • shabib
    Jan 25, 2015 - 1:19AM

    Incapability, inability leads to worst breakdown in all over Pakistan. 2nd one in 2 years tenure. Not a supporter of any party. but govt incapability leads me to say 3 words…. GO NAWAZ GO ….

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  • Hasan
    Jan 25, 2015 - 1:26AM

    Islamabad G11 without electricity.

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  • Shafaqat Ali
    Jan 25, 2015 - 1:30AM

    Experience telling yet again

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  • Azi
    Jan 25, 2015 - 1:31AM

    Please, vote more for pmln. You people deserve it, rest of us are just dragged into your witless decisions and their consequences.

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  • AbdulBasit
    Jan 25, 2015 - 1:34AM

    now call all PMLN nawaz was campaigning he said,he will end the electricity,and everyone of his supporting cheered him.

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  • Danish
    Jan 25, 2015 - 1:49AM

    @Ali:
    home is where KING is

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  • Humza
    Jan 25, 2015 - 1:53AM

    @Kiran Farhan: Musharraf sat on his seat for 10 years and didn’t add 1 KW electricity to the national grid and all you can do is blame others? Give this government a chance. Is Nawaz Sharif expected to fix all of the problems of the last few decades in two years? He is on track and has started projects to finally build electricity including nuclear plants.

    Recommend

  • woody
    Jan 25, 2015 - 2:05AM

    You still have no LNG deal, no LNG terminal, no coal purchase agreements, no coal terminal, no concrete plan for upgrading railways to transport coal …. and nobody seems to ask why? Maybe it’s time to quit focusing on fantasy mega Chinese projects and focus on something concrete that can actually help the people? Time for Sharif to put up or move on.

    Recommend

  • Ranjha
    Jan 25, 2015 - 2:05AM

    @Asok:

    You may not have noticed but Nobel prize winner Pervez Rashid and Pulitzer prize winner Hamid Mir are still driving around in their Agha Maqar’s water car! And Plato Talat Hussain is using a water powered rickshaw

    Recommend

  • Mansoor ul haq haqqani
    Jan 25, 2015 - 2:15AM

    I am from Lahore and currently at Lawrence Road lahore, no light since 11:00 pm.

    May the odds be in our favor.

    Recommend

  • Sam
    Jan 25, 2015 - 2:16AM

    Sadly Not a surprise, it was bound to happen and will happen until a protective mechanism is placed.

    KESC or should I say KE should develop its own infrastructure.
    It is a known fact that they are dependent on NTDC and Wapda for its reactive power.

    Now technical persons will agree that whenever reactive power is disturbed, the entire system will crash.
    They have themselves tweeted it as “if one trips all get de-sync’d”, although there is no challenging this but one should ask our respective authorities that:
    Why hasn’t a protection measure been placed?

    I think it is high time for our power authorities to invest in these protection systems.

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  • sam
    Jan 25, 2015 - 2:23AM

    Wow!! Azeem qoum ky azeem karnamy….

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  • ibrahim
    Jan 25, 2015 - 2:30AM

    shame on this government.. no fuel, no gas, no electricity, no faith, no shame, no accountability, no justice, no peace, no law and order, no audit, just corruption

    Recommend

  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Jan 25, 2015 - 2:34AM

    I am thinking for all those law abiding citizens who must be facing great difficulties during the total black out in Pakistan.

    Though ET reported black out for some cities, but my findings are that entire country is facing the black out since 11:55pm.

    Karachi Electric help line is not painting the actual picture, but twitter accounts of Pakistanis are self explainatory statements pouring in from all over the country.

    This time the writ of the Government is not challenged, but Government’s ability to run the show is definitely challanged by people of Pakistan.

    Prime Minister Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif should seriously think and consider to handover the complete electricity management system/charge of the country to Pakistan Army, under National Action Programme, as none of the power generating companies have the ability to generate un-interrepted power supply in any city of Pakistan, which is causing greate inconvenience to the Pakistanis.

    Let us be honest with us by saying that power generating sysytem is completely failed in Pakistan, which can’t be rectified by any power generating company operating in Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • AVMPolpot
    Jan 25, 2015 - 2:34AM

    Ishaq Dar was correct: its a deep conspiracy against Pakistan
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    And the conspirator is PML N.

    Recommend

  • Asad
    Jan 25, 2015 - 2:38AM

    Don’t worry guys, a Judicial Commission will fix everything

    Recommend

  • Hugh Slaman
    Jan 25, 2015 - 3:00AM

    Wouldn’t it have been much better if the entire nation had taken to the streets during the dharnas, thereby ending this incompetent government’s tenure?

    Recommend

  • AVMPolpot
    Jan 25, 2015 - 3:02AM

    ” Saturday’s power outage follows similar outage last month where large parts of the country were left without power after” Pakistan wins a Gold Medal by Earth Hour.!
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Let us celebrate the dailly Earth Hour in Pakistan….Ref.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_Hour
    (Earth Hour is a worldwide movement for the planet organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The event is held worldwide annually encouraging individuals, communities, households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour)

    Recommend

  • Yasir Sheikh
    Jan 25, 2015 - 3:17AM

    I knew PMLN was corrupt but they are this incompetent, I had never imagined. Truly speechless!

    Recommend

  • Ahsan
    Jan 25, 2015 - 3:29AM

    Go Nawaz Go slogan is not enough for this incapable team of relatives. We as a nation should stand up united for the betterment of our country

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  • AVMPolpot
    Jan 25, 2015 - 3:44AM

    Every Pakistani should know…
    +++++++++++++++++++
    that increased consumption due to lower prices caused the mega failure and no Minister is responsible.( a la petrol)

    Recommend

  • Blithe
    Jan 25, 2015 - 3:46AM

    @Kiran Farhan:
    You should have checked your facts before giving your sermon . This is a blowback from army operations.
    Live with it and stop crying like a baby.

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  • Ranjha
    Jan 25, 2015 - 3:50AM

    Our country is in the hands of Machiavellian serial liars! This is so scary! God help Pakistan!

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Jan 25, 2015 - 3:50AM

    Blaming PML(N) is dishonest and disgusting. Terrorists destroyed power lines and rest is technical fault.Recommend

  • Zaid Feroz
    Jan 25, 2015 - 4:25AM

    This “cascading effect” should raise some eyebrows at our national grid security. If a terrorist attack can cripple the country’s power lines then we’re in serious trouble people since this was just a physical assault. I mean who knows what is the state of our cyber security? Does it even exist for the critical civilian infrastructure in the first place? It certainly does for the military. A cyber attack can create a catastrophe of epic proportions. That’s why the Americans spend billions beefing up their cyber defenses. This is not the last breakdown as it will definitely embolden the terrorists to attack such a scrupulous (in their twisted sense) and vulnerable target.

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  • Noora jahil painda chor munafiq beghrait
    Jan 25, 2015 - 6:49AM

    You can still can use the metro buss u only see bad everywhere use metro bussn overheads eat payas nihari u still lie to everyone …. U still can steal money and give it to ur son to buy property in UK or dubai .. So what if there is no gas petrol electricity and law … Around here there was law here in stoneage atleast we have overheads n a metro buss its great …. Rooooo imran rooo .. We are jahil painda supporters of noora league munafiq league

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  • Aliya
    Jan 25, 2015 - 8:40AM

    Shortly you shall see a maskhara from the PML KHOON government appear as a messiah of national unity on all television channels announcing the breaking news:

    “Is maslay ne saari qawm ko muttahid kar dia, kitni khoobsurat baat he”

    The time fit Go Nawaz Go has Gone. Now its time for

    “THROW NAWAZ THROW”

    Recommend

  • hellboy
    Jan 25, 2015 - 9:17AM

    Attack on the life line of Pakistan by Punjabi colonised Baluchistan freedom fighters.Need of the hour to unleash pain on Punjabi Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • Atif Iqbal
    Jan 25, 2015 - 9:26AM

    This breakdown is happening for second time in two months and Guddu Power Plant which is in Sindh has its role in it. This looks fishy and says alot of stories. Government has to probe this deep.

    Recommend

  • Salateen Waseem Philip
    Jan 25, 2015 - 9:52AM

    Hope for the bestRecommend

  • riz
    Jan 25, 2015 - 10:16AM

    Like people, like government,

    Recommend

  • Bhola
    Jan 25, 2015 - 10:40AM

    I’m getting used it. But to anyone else reading this, “Welcome. This is Pakistan!”

    Recommend

  • electrical engineer
    Jan 25, 2015 - 11:16AM

    please KVA to only KV .. as voltage is in KV not in kVA

    Recommend

  • Pacifica
    Jan 25, 2015 - 6:42PM

    Asking in all seriousness – what exactly does it mean when the “… PM has taken notice” of something?

    Whenever some adverse incident happens, the press reports that the PM has taken notice of it, or sometimes in particularly egregious incidents, the PM has taken strong/serious notice.

    But what happens after the PM takes notice? No one seems to report that.

    Recommend

  • Angie
    Jan 25, 2015 - 7:37PM

    shame on this government.. no fuel, no gas, no electricity, no faith, no shame, no accountability, no justice, no peace, no law and order, no audit, just corruption.
    God help Pakistan!

    Recommend

  • Zaida
    Jan 26, 2015 - 7:08PM

    Burn a few nukes and get power. What is the use of nukes?

    Recommend

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