October 17, 2018
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Blackout leaves half of Pakistan's population without power

 A woman prepares meal in her kitchen during a power outage in Peshawar, Pakistan, May 24, 2017. EPA-EFE FILE/BILAWAL ARBAB

A woman prepares meal in her kitchen during a power outage in Peshawar, Pakistan, May 24, 2017. EPA-EFE FILE/BILAWAL ARBAB

Islamabad, May 16 (efe-epa).- Half of Pakistan's population was without power on Wednesday, due to a technical fault in a distribution line, an official source told EFE.

Energy Ministry spokesperson Zafar Yab Khan said a short-circuit in the Guddu-Muzaffargarh distribution line in northern Pakistan caused the blackout, which affected Islamabad and two provinces populated by more than half of the country's 207 million people.

"The whole of Punjab (with more than 100 million people) and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (around 30 million) is without electricity," said Khan.

The power supply had resumed in several areas of Punjab, but most of the province remained without electricity, whereas some areas in Islamabad remained without power, he added.

Khan said a technical team had gone to to fix the glitch, which was expected to take around four to five hours.

For years Pakistan has suffered from electricity shortages, leading to power cuts becoming so common that electricity companies publish the timings for blackouts in different neighborhoods in Islamabad.

According to official data, energy supply in Pakistan is around 18,000 megawatts against a 20,000 megawatt demand, which rises during summer months.

Some 69 million people in the country do not have an electricity connection, according to Lighting Asia, a World Bank program to increase access to energy.

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