Pakistan suffered a nationwide power outage that left nearly 220 million people without electricity for several hours today (Monday January 23) due to a technical fault.

The country’s Ministry of Energy said in a statement the system frequency of the country’s National Grid went down at 7.34am local time. 

“System maintenance work is progressing rapidly,” the tweet added.

All the country's major urban centres were affected by the outages, including the biggest city Karachi, the capital Islamabad, as well as Lahore and Peshawar.

Energy minister Khurram Dastgir Khan told a local TV channel that the national grid switches off power-generation units temporarily at night during the winter to save fuel costs. However, this measure left technicians unable to boot up the system all at after daybreak. 

“There was a fluctuation in voltage and power-generating units were shut down one by one due to cascading impact," Dastgir said. "This is not a major crisis...