Lebanon: Amid fuel crisis, country faces internet service interruption

On Sunday, Lebanon witnessed the disruption in the internet services due to the shortage of fuel (diesel). This economic crisis has added another essential service to the list of casualties.

On Sunday, Lebanon witnessed the disruption in the internet services due to the shortage of fuel (diesel). This economic crisis has added another essential service to the list of casualties.

As per the reports, the head of the state internet provider Orego, Imad Kreidhieh, early Sunday tweeted that the station at west Beirut, al-Mazraa, would run out of diesel and go offline. Due to this outage, around 26,000 subscribers were affected, including the country’s Internal Security operation rooms.

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Later, by mid-Sunday, diesel was provided by a resident, which allowed the station to run again. Meanwhile, one more power station in East Beirut ran out of diesel. It managed to operate on the batteries.

Kreidieh, in a statement, blamed a civil servant for the internet interruption in west Beirut. He said that the civil worker did not sign the agreement on time, resulting in the lack of diesel in the area.

He further said that the situation was unbearable, but somehow the country managed to get through the crisis.

The residents of the nation have only a few hours of electricity and later they all rely on the network of the private generators, which totally depends on the fuel. Because of this, the Lebanese spend their days and nights in complete darkness. This also increases the burden of their pockets as they have to pay for hefty bills to the generator operations, which changes as the crisis in the country worsens.

In Lebanon, internet and telecom services are also costly. The telecommunication companies, both state-owned and private, have been complaining as they fail to keep up with the rising operational costs.

Apart from the fuel crisis, the country is also dealing with a shortage of medicines. This lack has led the patients to depend on the back market, smuggled medicines and donations from expats and civil groups.

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The country has been dealing with the worst financial crisis, which has sunk the middle-class country into poor one. Reportedly, the leading cause of the crisis is the year-long mismanagement by the government and corruption.

The crisis caused the national currency to lose more than 90% of its esteem to the dollar, whereas banks, fearing bankruptcy, have constrained people’s access to their deposits in local and foreign currency.

Lebanon has lifted subsidies on essential goods, including fuel and medicines, and it is running out of imported reserves. Apparently, the government has yet to implement a social safety plan to negotiate with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Tariq Saeed

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