The entire country of Lebanon has been plunged into darkness, forcing millions of people to survive without electricity after the two largest power stations shut down and are not expected to restart for days.
Authorities blamed fuel shortages for causing the Zahrani power station and Deir Ammar plant to stop working, affecting the entire electricity network.
It comes as the country is suffering a severe economic crisis that has endured for the past 18 months and deepened as supplies of imported fuel have dried up.
Around half of the Lebanese population has been living in poverty and the government has faced major demonstrations as the country also grapples with the aftermath of the Beirut blast which killed 219 people in August 2020.
The Lebanese currency has fallen by 90 per cent since 2019.
A government official confirmed the Lebanese power network had “completely stopped working” and “it is unlikely that it will work until next Monday, or for several days.”.
The shutdown of the two power stations had “directly affected the stability of the power network and led to its complete outage, with no possibility of resuming operations in the meantime,” the statement said.
The state electricity company will try to use the army’s fuel oil reserve to operate the power plants temporarily, but that will not happen anytime soon, the official said.
Many Lebanese normally rely on private generators that run on diesel, but that is in short supply and expensive.
In case you’re wondering, this is what it looks like inside a Lebanese private generator hub. 300+ flats getting all their power from here. Those who can’t afford the bills (millions of LLP per month) have nothing during this blackout, and only 1-2 hours when the grid is on. pic.twitter.com/LPQEFKj30Z
— Anna Foster (@annaefoster) October 9, 2021