Top government officials in Pakistan are urging calm after the entire country was plunged into darkness on Saturday night due to a breakdown in the national power grid.
"A countrywide blackout has been caused by a sudden plunge in the frequency in the power transmission system," Pakistan's Power Minister Omar Ayub Khan announced, according to Reuters.
The blackout is nearly unprecedented as it has impacted over 200 million people across every city, town and village. The last power grid shutdown approaching this size hasn't been seen since 2015.
According to CNN reporting:
In a statement, the Ministry of Energy said that, according to an initial report, there had been a fault at the Guddu Thermal Power Plant in Pakistan's southern Sindh province, which had caused power plants across the country to shut down.
...Efforts are now underway to restore power to various parts of the country. Large swathes of Karachi, the largest city in Pakistan, still do not have power, according to information shared by K-Electric, the company supplying power to the city.
The report further quoted residents who were witnessing hours-long lines outside gas stations where people were hoping to fuel generators.
"There are long lines outside petrol pumps in the city, cars are queuing as people buy fuel for their back up generators. I was in the line, people have been waiting for hours with petrol cans in hand," one Karachi resident said.
A Pakistan airline industry official had said, "All major airports in the country have back up generators," while noting airports and flights remained operational.
As of early Sunday evening (local time) Pakistan's energy minister said that power had been restored to much of the country, and faulted a significant technical issue.