Lebanon has been left without power, plunging the whole country into utter darkness amid an economic crisis looming over the nation. Officials said that the power grid “completely stopped working at noon today”, and it was highly unlikely to restart before a couple of days.
Till then, the citizens of the nation are solely dependent on personal generators and had no steady source of electricity.
A government official in their interview said that the country’s two largest power grids – Deir Ammar and Zahrani – had been shut down due to a shortage of fuel needed to run the stations.
Besides the severity of the crisis at hand, the country has been grappling with a severe economic crisis for the past 18 months, leaving half its population in poverty. In addition, the situation has devalued Lebanon’s currency and resulted in major protests and demonstrations against politicians and people in power. This has consequently also made it harder to pay overseas power suppliers.
Lebanon’s state electricity company has said that the two power plants that have been shut account for 40% of the electricity being produced and distributed across the nation. On record, the officials went on to add “complete outage” of the power network, “with no possibility of resuming operations in the meantime”.
Over recent times, the country has seen a shift with people becoming increasingly dependent on private diesel-powered generators. However, these private sources are becoming more expensive with the cost of fuel rising steadily and can’t cover the outage of the electricity throughout the country.
Even before this complete electricity failure, people had only been receiving electricity for just two hours a day.
Right before this, the country also faced the aftermath of the Beirut Blast which faced country in August 2020. The blast had killed as many as 219 people with the number of people being injured reaching up to 7,000. Following the blast, the government resigned, leaving the country in political chaos. It was only in September that the new Prime Minister Najib Mikati was elected.
The militant group Hezbollah brought Iranian fuel into the country which the opposition thinks is its way to sway the public and use the fuel to expand its influence.
Al Jazeera has reported that in the northern town of Halba, people have been protesting outside the state power company. The residents have been blocking the streets in the city of Tripoli by burning tyres.
With the electricity crisis hitting many parts of the world, it makes one stop and wonder about the need to utilize electricity and resources efficiently. The crisis of Lebanon is also one that should not be so easily swayed by the international community.