Lebanon Stroke by Major Electrical Power Crisis

World | July 9, 2021, Friday // 23:57
Bulgaria: Lebanon Stroke by Major Electrical Power Crisis pixabay

Lebanon's two main power plants were switched off on Friday, plunging much of the country into a near-total blackout.

The shutdown - caused by the two plants running out of fuel - worsens a crisis that has seen people receive just two hours of electricity a day.

A lack of foreign currency has made it hard to pay overseas energy suppliers.

Pharmacies have also gone on strike over medicine shortages caused by the failure to pay foreign importers.

Lebanon's two biggest power stations, Deir Ammar and Zahrani - which together provide about 40% of the country's electricity - shut down on Friday, their owner Electricite Du Liban (EDL) said.

Ships loaded with gas oil had refused to offload the fuel before money was transferred to their owners' accounts in dollars.

Lebanon has suffered a severe economic crisis over the past 18 months, and its currency - the Lebanese Pound - has collapsed to record lows.

Some local healthcare companies have already run out of medicines needed to treat cancer and heart disease.

Pharmacies closed their doors on Friday in protest at the shortages.

The failing economy has left half the population living in poverty and prompted mass protests, demanding the removal of a political elite accused of corruption and negligence.

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