LAHORE/ISLAMABAD - Major cities across Pakistan, including were hit by a power outage Sunday night.

The blackout affected cities and towns in all four provinces including Hyderabad in Sindh, Quetta in Balochistan and Peshawar in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in addition to Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore and Karachi.

Darkness prevailed at about 11.30pm. There was no official word on the development. However, reports suggested the outage was caused by a problem in the National Power Grid.

According to Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda), the fault struck after the failure of Hubco Power Plant.

“After Hubco broke down, the system was first diverted to Tarbela and then to Mangla, but both of them tripped under the load one after the other,” said a Wapda spokesman.

He added that Hubco power plant was under repair on emergency basis.

He however said that it could take the teams of engineers hours to fix the fault in the national grid. The blackout was so severe that it created panic across the country.

In Karachi, 36 grid stations tripped. At least 70 per cent of the city plunged into darkness.

Power was abruptly suspended to Quetta and surrounding areas. Apart from Quetta, power supply was out in northern and central districts of Balochistan. People faced enormous difficulties after the abrupt power breakdown.

Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf took notice of the power breakdown. The PM House said that the prime minister is monitoring the situation.

Lahore Airport was also without power, but continued operations by running generators.

Officials from the NPCC said they had traced the cause of the technical fault, but could not give a timeframe on how long it would take to fix.