Lebanon’s electricity grid has shut down thoroughly after the country’s two main strength stations ran out of fuel, according to reports.
The al Zahrani and the Deir Ammar strength stations stopped working after supplies of diesel were seemingly depleted, and energy production dropped to below 200 megawatts.
The outage will continue for a few days, at the minimum, Reuters news agency has said, quoting an official source.
“The Lebanese strength network completely stopped working at noon today (10am UK time), and it is doubtful that it will work until next Monday, or for several days,” the official said.
The thermoelectric plant stopped at Zahrani strength stop just a day after the Deir Ammar plant stopped on Friday due to a fuel shortage.
The state electric company will try to use the army’s fuel oil save to function the strength plants temporarily but this will not happen anytime soon, the official said.
It comes as Lebanon struggles with a fuel shortage that has forced many businesses to close and left people relying on the black market.
People have queued for miles to fill up their vehicles, with the chaos sometimes resulting in violence.
At the end of September, a man died after swallowing petrol he was siphoning out of his means’s tank, the country’s national news agency reported.
The UN estimates that 78% of the country’s population is living in poverty, with soaring unemployment and a money that has plummeted in value.
In August, at the minimum 20 people were killed and 79 others injured after a fuel tank exploded at a warehouse in northern Lebanon, where fuel had been illegally stored.
It is part of a wider crisis, compounded by corruption and bad governance, which affects almost every part of life in Lebanon and has seen the Lebanese money sink by 90% since 2019.
The country remains in political turmoil following the appointment of a permanent government following last August’s extreme Beirut explosion that killed more than 150 people and injured 6,000, while destroying large parts of the city.
It happened after 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate – used as a fertiliser and in explosives – caught fire after being stored unsafely at a port warehouse.
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