BEIRUT: Security measures were increased in several Lebanese regions following violent clashes over fuel disputes in gas stations, where sticks, knives and other weapons were used.
On Saturday, Baalbek and neighboring towns were plunged into darkness due to a decrease in production of the Al-Zahrani thermal plant by almost 150 megawatts.
It came after the country’s diesel shortage led to severe rationing by private generator owners. Subscription prices for small local generators now exceed 7 million Lebanese pounds ($4,600) per month.
Jihad Salem Al-Husseini, a dentist, said: “My work has worsened a lot. I bought a private generator and put it on the roof of the building in which my clinic is located in Beirut, after the owner of the generator with whom I was subscribed asked me to pay 7 million Lebanese pounds per month. He refused to provide me with electricity during the day, saying that he decided to run his generator only at night due to the diesel shortage.
“The crisis is affecting everything. The loss of electricity is one of the crises.”
The electricity crisis has hit many businesses, including barber shops. In light of the power outages that led to the disuse of air conditioners, scenes of customers sitting on chairs in front of barber shops have become common. Many barbers have moved their morning shifts to the evening.
Hair stylist Mohammed Issa said: “Due to power outages, I had to raise my prices from 5,000 to 25,000 Lebanese pounds for a blow dry. The situation is very difficult.”