Protests against Power Outage as Lebanon Plunges into Darkness

Protests against Lebanon’s aggravating economic and electricity crisis expanded on Thursday amid widespread blackouts that saw the majority of Lebanese areas drenched in darkness amid an uncommon heat wave hitting the region.

Lebanese protesters in Jounieh tried on Thursday to storm into the state-run Electricite Du Liban offices complaining against continued power cuts. They chanted slogans and threats that they won’t pay their due electricity bills.

In the northern city of Tripoli, groups gathered on the highway in al-Mina blocking it with burning tyres in protest against a soaring economic crisis and continued blackouts.

Overnight, protesters in Sidon, Tripoli, Beirut and other Lebanese areas also blocked major roads with burning tyres.

Various Lebanese regions are witnessing long hours of blackout, amid diesel and fuel shortages due to their association with the dollar and a sharp depreciation of the Lebanese pound.

Lebanon witnesses almost daily demonstrations against the frequent blackouts.

Earlier in July, EDL board of directors told Energy Minister Raymond Ghajar that it might be impossible for the corporation to maintain production, transmission and distribution of electric current to subscribers.

On Tuesday, EDL said in a statement that a malfunction in the Jiyeh Thermal Factory affected the power stations in Jiyyeh-Bsalim, Zahrani and Deir Ammar.

Power outages lasting up to 22 hours per day in most Lebanese areas have crippled the country.

By a Cabinet decision, Beirut used to be excluded from strict rationing being the hub for the state’s institutions, embassies and major businesses. But not anymore.

On social media, angry comments were recorded against the government and the Ministry of Energy which did not succeed in building production plants at a low cost, and wasted about $45 billion on this sector without bringing in electricity.

Activists circulated pictures of Beirut in the dark at night.

Source: Naharnet

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