SIDON, Lebanon: As news of a looming cooking gas shortage emerged, Lebanese flocked Tuesday to acquire gas canisters amid an on-going gasoline crisis which has left citizens waiting in excruciatingly long queues.
"The picture is blurry with regard to the quantities and price of gas," a gas center official told The Daily Star in the southern city of Sidon. "The surge in demand is caused by the scarcity of quantities, as companies have not delivered sufficient amounts, and the situation is pointing toward a hike in gas prices. I think that gas centers will be supplied in the coming days, but at a more expensive price."
Mired in a crippling economic crisis, alongside the free-falling Lebanese pound, Lebanese struggle to grapple with fuel and medicine shortages. As the government slowly increases fuel prices with more than half of the population dropping below the poverty line, another crisis hit the Lebanese, leaving them waiting in line for gas.
“We haven’t had the chance to catch our breath from the diesel crises and the medicine shortage, and the gas crises has already reared its head, promising additional suffering," Abu Ali Nassab said. "I rushed to the center to fill two bottles for my needs. I no longer believe that the people running this country are responsible. We have constantly been fed lies and have tasted the woe of queues and the torment of poverty. Unfortunately, every rumor becomes true in this country,” .
Anxiety regarding gas shortages was evident in Sidon’s Al-Mosali gas filling center located in the Siniq area which faced long queues, as its neighboring gas station was unable to open its doors due to gas shortages. The price of gas has been unchanged, settling at LL60,000. However, wholesale sale has been halted and restricted to retail to accommodate people’s needs.
Amid the long gas queue at Al-Mosali, Umm Majed Antar carried a gas canister and made her way toward the filling hose.
"We live in a country of endless crises, the situation is only getting worse," she said. "We refuse to deprive our children of food and drinks, or take them back to the Middle Ages. Our suffering with the electricity, medicine shortages, and inflation is more than enough. We do not need another disaster to add to our list.”