The massive power breakdown that plunged southern parts of the city into darkness late on Saturday and into Sunday morning was caused by the high level of humidity in areas where transmission lines are located, clarified the Karachi Electric Supply Company on Sunday.
KESC said in a statement that the breakdown occurred soon after Iftar on Saturday, as two 220 kilovolt high tension lines tripped, which ultimately led to a domino effect that hit many grid stations.
The Jamshoro transmission line also tripped, leading to the suspension of 650 megawatts of electricity from the National Transmission and Dispatch Company, exacerbating the situation.
Some areas received power within three hours, only to lose it to another serious breakdown. Karachiites have been largely spared from twelve-hour power outages since Abraaj Capital took over KESC, and started revamping the rickety transmission and distribution system. The city has also seemingly escaped unscathed from recurring power breakdowns that have had led to people living in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa repeatedly come out on the roads to protest.
As a result, a lot of Karachiites appeared to have been caught off guard this time. “It is strange how shops have run out of candles,” observed Riaz Ahmed, a resident of Clifton who had come to Neelum Colony to find an emergency source of lighting. “Scheduled power outages is something we are used to. We know how long our uninterrupted power supply (UPS) would last. But this caught us by surprise.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 6th, 2012.
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